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Tour pro DQ’d from Honda Classic after his green-book was deemed too big under the new rules of golf



While Thursday’s opening round of the Honda Classic saw Rickie Fowler poke some fun at the rules of golf in an amusing way, it also saw a disqualification which has the unfortunate title of being the first DQ of its kind since the updated rules of golf came in to play.

Alex Cejka is the professional in question, who was deemed to have been using a green-book which did not adhere to the new rules of golf. Cejka had been using last year’s green-book for the Honda Classic throughout the opening round, which contained larger scales of diagrams of the greens than are now allowed on the PGA Tour.

Following the DQ, PGA Tour rules official Robby Ware who informed Cejka of the decision after his 14th hole of the day, stated (per a Golfweek report)

“It was brought to the committee’s attention that Alex might possibly be using some old greens reading materials. Alex was basically using an old yardage book and old greens reading materials that did not fit the size to scale limit. He knew he was using an old book. He told me that. I don’t know that he was completely understanding of what the scale limits are.”

The issue was brought to Cejka’s attention by playing partner Cameron Tringale who noticed the old green-book which the 48-year-old was using, and the latter then called in an official.

Speaking after completing his round, Tringale said

“I saw it and told my caddie. I mentioned it to (Cejka) but was unfamiliar how exactly to proceed. I told the first official I saw what I had seen. I was perplexed. That doesn’t look right. Did I really see that? When we finished the 14th hole, I went to use the bathroom and when I came out I saw (Cejka) riding off in a cart.”

Interestingly, the green-reading book which Cejka had been using during the opening round detailed the greens of PGA National before they were re-vamped following last year’s Honda Classic.

Cejka was level par for his round, and before his DQ, the longest putt he made was from 8′ 6″ on his third hole of the day. Tringale and Palmer completed their opening round of the Honda Classic as a two ball, finishing their rounds one-under par and level par respectively.



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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito



  1. Dan Powers

    Mar 1, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    So the guy who made the report just happened to go to the bathroom when the rules official shows up? Riiiiiight.

  2. Seth Riser

    Mar 1, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    USGA has nothing better to do than turn golf courses into goat tracks and dream up goofy rules. That’s does it – I’m giving my tour card back.

  3. Brad

    Mar 1, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Hello PGA, it’s reality calling. Time to dump your decrepit and extremely out of touch friend the USGA. They are destroying you with their bad ideas and senile decision making. Save yourself before it’s too late…

  4. Tiger Noods

    Mar 1, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Another USGA farce.

    What should have happened is like all tournaments, they should provide a book. Every morning, they should provide a pin sheet. All players can work off of those books, because they are the size they are, and players don’t need to bring their own. In fact, on course, they should all be given a “standard”, and they all work from that if they choose.

    Personally, I’d like to see them have lasers so the caddies don’t have to do so much math.

  5. Terry Johnson

    Mar 1, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Pros are playing for so much money they have gotten slower and slower reading books of info,taking everything like wind,conditions,slope, grain,mountains. Eliminate books get electric caddies and let the players figure the conditions like the average golfer. All the aids these pros have today just slow the play down. Give the player a laser and a bag of clubs. Let them figure all this info out with the brain that god gave them and give them a set time to make a shot. Wake up.

  6. dixiedoc

    Mar 1, 2019 at 11:52 am

    The rules are the rules. In any other sport when the rules are changed every professional is aware and either complies or is penalized. It doesn’t take long to read the new rules. If he or his caddie didn’t then they are the ones who are at fault not the USGA. Yes, it’s the USGA that makes the rules not the PGA so don’t blame them.

  7. Dave r

    Mar 1, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Why not just play golf? I used to watch golf on a Thursday to sun . Now I watch the highlights on sports net.the stuff that goes on the course is mind blowing. Yardage books ,green books, balls with lines, some players taking what seems like a month to figure out the wind , slope, elevation, uphill downhill, clouds going the wrong way, the grass is wet or dry. Now add in the new rules you lost me . Can’t wait for the highlites on sports net. These rules officials have ruined the game how about speeding up play there’s a thought you should discuss. When you do I’ll start to watch again, until then have a lovely day.

    • frank cichon

      Mar 1, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      I agree with you 100 per cent. I would like to see a Tour where the player can use range finders, but the first player has say 45 seconds to hit and the next 40. If you hit it off the fairway you get NO FREE RELIEF PERIOD. YOU HIT IT THERE, YOU PLAY IT! If winds are an issue Tough…same for everybody …rub of the green. Each group could have 2 scorers and time every player. No green books …..some guys take as long as 15 seconds just to pick up their marker because the LINE on the ball is not aligned right. Int is PAINFUL to watch. IF I watch any golf it is with my PVR…but your idea of just watching the sports on the 11 pm news has just saved me several hours per week .Thank!

      • bob carroll

        Mar 1, 2019 at 8:22 pm

        sounds like european golf.played the old course, foursome on every hole, your butt better be thru in 3 1/2 hours, no exceptions.

    • D

      Mar 1, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Yeah but I bet you sit there on your fat arse watching 4 NFL matches on Sunday though, huh
      How many dumb rules does that game have? It still uses the yardage chain ffs

      • beer belly bob

        Mar 1, 2019 at 2:26 pm

        What is an NFL match? Is that something you watch while sipping tea and eating crumpets?

  8. JP

    Mar 1, 2019 at 10:56 am

    And he pays his caddie how much? Shouldn’t he know the rule too?

  9. Joe

    Mar 1, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Sue them under the ADA that he can’t use the new smaller books because he can’t read them… What a farce….

    • Mower

      Mar 1, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      I had to re-read that headline – what the actual f*$#@?
      The green-reading book is too big or it’s last year’s version… why is this a f*#$@ issue? Who needs to be punched in the face for making this a rule?

  10. dat

    Mar 1, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Incredibly stupid all around. Golf is becoming a real pain to watch on TV with all of these stupid rule changes. Constantly mentioning them, let alone the enforcement of them, is distracting from the actual game.

  11. Drew

    Mar 1, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Why does information not have a place in the game?

    • Brian

      Mar 1, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      Because reading a green is supposed to be a skill. Mapping every contour of the green in a book should be outlawed.

  12. jeff

    Mar 1, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Tringale the snitch

  13. Ray

    Mar 1, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Pretty funny that what he was DQ’d for was a out of date green book since they changed the greens after last year’s Honda Open. How much did they change because it certainly shouldn’t have been helping him, right?

  14. Travis

    Mar 1, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Just be done with green books altogether. Be done with lines on the golf ball too for that matter. Green reading and aiming your putt (just like aiming all other shots in golf) should be a skill.

    On the greens is the most significant area of the game the USGA can speed up play for Pros and Ams.

    • aplynam

      Mar 1, 2019 at 9:12 am

      Let’s just do away with greens altogether and putt to a hole dug out with a spade by the “greens” keeper.

    • sal

      Mar 1, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      I agree, totally. Make the game pure again and speed it up before golf is gone.

  15. youraway

    Mar 1, 2019 at 8:48 am

    The Rule on greens reading material should be even stronger and a good decision was rendered, he should receive a DQ penalty. Oh yes, a professional would’t want to actually understand the Rules of the game they play, would they?

  16. alexdub

    Mar 1, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Classless move by Tringale, IMO. Turning in someone for such a minor (and new) infraction goes against the spirit of the rules of golf. This is not even remotely close to something that you “call in an official” for. Let the round complete and talk to the committee afterwards if you’re that bent up about it.

  17. DB

    Mar 1, 2019 at 8:44 am

    This is actually a good rule change. Tired of seeing players unfold their intricately detailed green-reading map before making a putt. Study that stuff before the round if you want, but it has no place in actually playing the game. Glad they are enforcing this rule.

    • Joe

      Mar 1, 2019 at 10:54 am

      Serious question, I’d be curious if before the round started they could mark up a pin location sheet with slopes near the hole…

  18. Jerome

    Mar 1, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Tringale is a NARC!

    USGA rules are a joke!

    Warriors blew a 3-1 LEAD!

  19. Erik Morden

    Mar 1, 2019 at 7:22 am

    This is just another example of the PGA worrying about small things like a caddy standing behind a player before he lines up for his shot or the distance a player drops a ball. Why are we not seeing stories about PGA officials clamping down on players that take a lifetime to take a shot? If they are so worried about these new rules why don’t we start enforcing the time limit rules?

    • kevin

      Mar 1, 2019 at 8:40 am

      having a caddie line up the player isn’t a small thing. it was a time waster and an awful look.

      dropping from knee height is dumb and an equally dumb look. i get the intent of the rule, and its still dumb. the difference in height will affect a handful of drops over the course of the season.

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Morning 9: Els, Woods on Reed controversy | Internationals relying on analytics? | Reed: Now, it’s personal



1. Els, Woods on Reed controversy 
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…”U.S. captain Tiger Woods said he spoke with Reed about the incident and that the conversation was “short and brief, to the point” and that the team has moved on.”
  • “I’m sure somebody [in the crowd] is going to say something out there. But I think that, in general, all the times I have been to Australia and have played here, the fans have been fantastic,” Woods said. “They are going to come out and it’s going to be bipartisan, as it should be. They are going to root for the Internationals more so than they are us. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
  • …”These guys are competitors. Obviously, they didn’t like what they saw, and they came out and obviously you guys asked them questions about it and, like Tiger, we’re moving on; we’ve got a cup to play for,” International captain Ernie Els said. “It’s got nothing to do with us. I think Tiger’s dealing with it and Patrick’s dealing with that.”

Full piece.

2. Els to shake things up…with data!’s Ben Everill…”With input from the 15th Club – a data company that helped the European team win the Ryder Cup in Paris last year – Els has been delving into data and analytics to find his ultimate pairings on the Alister MacKenzie masterpiece.”
  • “….”The numbers haven’t shown exactly what I expected. It’s funny. A lot of the personalities I wanted together; the data shows they are not compatible,” Els confirmed to”
  • “To convey that to the players has been tough. As you can expect, certain players want to play together — but I can show them if it is not compatible. Now the good thing is the guys are taking that in and actually listening to me whereas in previous years guys were quite adamant who they wanted to play with.” 

Full piece.

3. “Personal” 
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“At Royal Melbourne, Reed responded to Smith’s comments and his use of the word cheating.”
  • “It’s not the right word to use. At the end of the day, if you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it’s not considered cheating and at the end of the day that’s what it is,” Reed explained. “If you’re intentionally trying to do something, that would be considered cheating, but I wasn’t intentionally trying to improve a lie or anything like that, because if it was, it would have been a really good lie and I would have hit it really close.”
  • “Reed was also asked if Smith’s choice of words will have any impact on how he approaches this week’s matches.”
  • “It goes from wanting to beat those guys to it now turning personal, so it’s going to be a fun week,” he said.” 

Full piece.

4. Recovery day
Golf Channel’s Jay Coffin…”We’re still feeling it,” the U.S. Presidents Cup captain said. “I mean, I know I am.
  • “We’ll hit the wall sometime this afternoon and got to push through it and get through the gala dinner tonight. I think by tomorrow afternoon, we should all start feeling pretty good.”
  • “…The U.S. team charter plane took 26 hours to arrive from the Bahamas and they were not able to get to Royal Melbourne at all on Monday, something that Woods said was a blessing in disguise.”
  • “Today is an important day for us just to walk and to stretch our legs a bit. Getting in yesterday after a 26-hour ride in a luxurious tin can, it’s nice to actually get out there and feel some fresh air.”
5. Rory passed on $2.5 million Saudi payday
BBC report…”McIlroy did not deny reports that he had been offered a $2.5m (£1.9m) fee.”
  • “Amnesty International describes the Saudi regime’s human rights records as “heinous” but the country has been attempting to lure big sporting events to the kingdom, notably last Saturday’s world heavyweight boxing title fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr in Riyadh.”
  • “100%, there’s a morality to it as well,” added McIlroy about his decision to miss the event, which takes place from 30 January until 2 February.
  • “You could say that about so many countries, not just Saudi Arabia, but a lot of countries that we play in that there’s a reason not to go, but for me, I just don’t want to go.”

Full piece.

6. Els on Woods rivalry
ESPN’s Bob Harig…”The Big Easy won’t be playing, however, and simply brings a career’s worth of knowledge — and lots of scar tissue — to the competition that he’d very much like to see shift.”
“He’s not a bad golfer, you know what I mean,” Els said of Woods during a Tuesday morning news conference before both teams were to play practice rounds. “He’s one of the best, the best of my generation. It was a privilege to compete against him. I know I could have had a couple more events under my belt, but still very proud to have played against Tiger, and after all these years to be friends with him is another privilege.
7. Tiger putting team first
Golf Channel’s Jay Coffin…“Woods knows it’s a rarity to be a playing captain and said Tuesday at Royal Melbourne that he will play only when he thinks it’s in the best overall interest of his squad.”
  • “Whatever we deem as the best possible order for our team, that’s what we’re going to run with,” Woods said.
  • “…Each player is required to play two out of the first four sessions, so he’ll play at least that much. The curveball at the Presidents Cup often comes because of the format where captains match their pairings against each other. That could dictate how often Woods plays.”

Full piece.

8. Modernizing the rules of amateur status 
Golfweek staff…”Weeks after NCAA policy makers voted to allow student athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model,” the USGA and R&A announced they are reviewing their Rules of Amateur Status.”
  • “The USGA and R&A don’t reference the NCAA in their news release Monday announcing that golf’s governing bodies will continue the joint effort to modernize the Rules by making them easier to understand.”
  • “But many who pay attention to golf will wonder if the two are related as the NCAA grapples with how to allow athletes to take advantage of name, image and likeness while making sure the benefits don’t feed into recruiting wars.”

Full piece.

9. Closest thing to Pine Valley?
Golf Digest’s John Huggan…”Ask Mike Clayton what he thinks are the best holes on the Royal Melbourne composite layout (12 holes from the West course, six from the East) that this week hosts the 13th Presidents Cup matches and the native Melburnian-one of the most respected voices in golf architecture-is quick to identify all 18. Which is no surprise. Almost universally hailed as the best course in the southern hemisphere, “the composite” is that good.”
  • “Royal Melbourne is the closest thing you will ever see to Pine Valley, where every hole is great,” says the former European Tour player. “I can’t think of another course where almost any hole would be the best hole on 90 percent of courses anywhere in the world. That’s Pine Valley. And that’s the composite course at Royal Melbourne.”
  • “Designed by Alister MacKenzie back in the 1920s, Royal Melbourne was the famed architect’s first attempt to create what Clayton calls “an inland Old Course at St. Andrews.” Another effort in a similar vein would follow a few years later at Augusta National, Cypress Point being the third part of what might be termed MacKenzie’s “Triple Crown.”
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Morning 9: U.S. Prez Cup team off to a rocky start? | Capt. Woods isn’t worried | Tour action



1. Hojgaard!
AP report on what is, really, an incredible achievement: an 18-year-old winning just a handful of starts into his European Tour career. Hope he enjoyed a Hoegaarden or 2!
  • …”Danish rookie Rasmus Hojgaard won a three-way playoff at the Mauritius Open with an eagle to become the third youngest winner on the European Tour on Sunday.”
  • “The 18-year-old Hojgaard overcame two bogeys in his opening nine and birdied the last hole in a round of 4-under 68 to get to 19-under overall, tied for first with Antoine Rozner of France and Renato Paratore of Italy.”
  • “In the playoff, Hojgaard and Rozner both birdied the par-5 last hole as Paratore made par.”

Full piece. 

2. The law firm of Langer & Langer
While Bernhard didn’t win everything on the senior circuit this year, he (and son) did manage to capture the Father Son challenge.
  • AP report…”Jason Langer made a 16-foot eagle putt on the first hole of a playoff Sunday to give father Bernard his fourth victory in the PNC Father Son Challenge.”
  • “The Langers closed with a second straight 12-under 60 to match Retief and Leo Goosen and Tom and Thomas Lehman atop the leaderboard in the scramble event for major champions at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando.”
  • “After the 62-year-old Bernhard hit the fairway on the par-5 18th, the 19-year-old Jason hit a 3-wood approach from 270 yards to set up the winning putt.”

Full piece.

3. Aussie wins Australian Open
Congratulations, Matt Jones! 
  • AP report…”Cruising for most of the final round and a leader after the second and third, Matt Jones suddenly needed to make a big putt on his final hole for a second Australian Open title.
  • “He came through, making a testing four-foot par putt on the 18th to hold off Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke after a 2-under 69.”
  • “Jones, who is a member at the host Australian Golf Club and won his first national title there in 2015, had a 72-hole total of 15-under 269.”

Full piece.

4. Off to a rocky start…
Shane Ryan rounds up a few of the-let’s not say “issues” but rather, flies in the ointment of victory-for the U.S. Presidents Cup squad.
“Addressing the most obvious first, Ryan writes…”Let’s start with the biggest and most provocative story of the weekend-Patrick Reed. If you had to pick one American golfer who could find a way heap stress on his captain’s shoulders before the Presidents Cup, you’d probably have picked Reed. Sure enough, he delivered at the Hero World Challenge by incurring a two-stroke penalty when he swept sand away from his ball with the back of his club-twice-in a way that appeared to improve his line of play in the bunker. His post-round explanation was that he didn’t realize it had happened, it didn’t improve the lie, and the camera angle made the sand look closer to the ball than it really was. Either way, the story will dominate the start of Presidents Cup week-Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith of the International team have already talked about how they think fans will react to Reed-and force Tiger to address it. Meanwhile, Reed’s teammates probably won’t appreciate the distraction. It’s not great in normal circumstances before a big tournament, but it’s especially unfortunate just before a team event where it could create tension at a time when tension kills camaraderie. It’s the kind of unexpected pre-Cup distraction that sucks the energy from a team.”
5. No reputation worries for Reed
Patrick Reed’s perspective, per Sky Sports…”Asked about whether he was worried the incident would harm people’s perception of him, Reed replied: “No, because at the end of the day I wasn’t intending to improve a lie or anything like that.”
  • “Like I said, I didn’t feel like I was doing anything that was improving a lie, but then when you saw it on camera, because of that camera angle, they said that the sand was moving, and when the sand moves like that, it’s a penalty.”
  • “You know, for me, it was just something that I’m going out there to play the best golf I can. After seeing it on camera and seeing sand move, obviously it’s a penalty. So at that point I had to accept it and move on.

Full piece.

6. LPGA moments of 2019
No surprise what (rightfully) takes the top spot in Beth Ann Nichols stellar end-of-year rundown of the LPGA Tour’s most memorable moments…
“It wasn’t just that Suzann Pettersen, a former villain at the Solheim Cup, knocked down a birdie putt on the 18th green to clinch the Cup for Europe. Or that the new mom had taken a 20-month break from competition before being named a captain’s pick by Catriona Matthew. The icing on this cake came in the fact that it was Pettersen’s final final putt. She scooped up son Herman in her arms after capping off the greatest Solheim Cup in history and walked straight into retirement.”
7. Opinion: Only women can save the Presidents Cup
Eamon Lynch for Golfweek with a, well, unique suggestion…”My two cents: make the Presidents Cup co-ed, adding the best women to the squads. It would give the event a unique flavor while elevating women’s golf. The LPGA Tour is a global circuit, but too many of its finest players are ineligible for the Solheim Cup, being neither American nor European. Let’s see an alternate shot format where Jin Young Ko plays off Adam Scott’s drives, and Tiger plays off Lexi Thompson’s.”
“A co-ed Presidents Cup would pair men and women in a genuine competitive setting, not a hit-and-giggle like the long defunct Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge. It would also make real the prospect of superstar golfers playing for a female captain. Golf could use some optics like that.”
“It’s been 40 years since the Ryder Cup was resuscitated when the old downtrodden Great Britain & Ireland team morphed into a triumphant European squad, but the Ryder Cup also had the advantage of its dull decades coming long before the dawn-to-dusk TV coverage of every swing. The Presidents Cup enjoys no such luxury and won’t survive many more years of mundanity.”
8. Captain Woods
Ben Everill of on the relative (to his early years) peculiarity of the Woods captaincy…
  • “….Those who bore the brunt of his dominance in golf know that when Woods was young and full of intensity, only one thing mattered: Winning. His intense competitive nature didn’t allow for traits that routinely work in a leadership role. He wasn’t concerned with others or their feelings. In fact he probably took delight in crushing any positivity they may have had on the golf course.”
  • “As such, thoughts of him as a good captain just didn’t wash.”
  • He was very young back then and his focus was on winning major championships and PGA TOUR tournaments,” says Mark O’Meara, who played on three U.S. teams with Woods and also won a World Cup with him in 1999.”

Full piece.

9. These are my players, in whom I am well pleased
…so said captain Woods, sort of…
(Quotes via Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine) “I told all the guys at Liberty when we had our meeting, back in ’98, we weren’t ready to play,” said Woods, referring to the Internationals’ lone victory in 12 editions, a nine-point rout of Jack Nicklaus’ American squad at Royal Melbourne.
  • “It was, again, late in the year in December. The season ended differently, players shut it down and then they geared right back up for Australia and we got beat pretty badly, so it was important for these guys to continue playing.”
  • “I’m very happy with most of the team,” Woods said after his solo-fourth finish at Albany. “The fact that 11 out of 12 guys played this week, some played well, some didn’t, but at least they were able to knock off some rust, get some feel.”

Full piece.

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Patrick Reed slapped with a 2-stroke penalty for moving sand in waste bunker



Overnight leader Patrick Reed incurred a two-stroke penalty after twice moving sand from behind his ball on the 11th hole at the Hero Challenge during Friday’s round.

The contentious incident was caught on camera as Reed took practice swings before executing the shot on the par-5. You can make your mind up by watching the video below.

Reed incurred a general penalty (two strokes) under Rule 12-3 for improving his lie which was assessed following his round – changing his score of bogey six on the hole to a triple-bogey eight.

Following his round, Reed spoke to the media where he claimed that it was the camera angle which made it look as if he had improved his lie.

“It’s unfortunate because even though they weren’t, I wish they were actually directly on the side of me, because it was in a pretty good footprint but the footprint was a full footprint, and I felt like my club was that far behind the ball when I was actually taking the practice strokes which I felt like I was taking it up and it was obviously hitting a little sand.

I didn’t feel it drag, but then when they brought it up to me it definitely did drag some of the sand and because of that it’s considered a two-stroke penalty. I didn’t feel like it really would have affected my lie, I mean every time I get in the bunker I’m scared to even get my club close to it, it was that far away, but whenever you do that if it does hit the sand, just like if you’re in a hazard area and you take a practice swing and it brushes grass and the grass breaks, it’s a penalty.

So because of that and after seeing the video, I accept that, and it wasn’t because of any intent, I thought I was far enough away. I think with a different camera angle they would have realized that if it was from the side you would have seen that with the backswing it was not improving the lie because it was far enough away from the golf ball. But after seeing that camera angle, because it brushed the sand it was a penalty.”

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19th Hole