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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

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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 gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

31 Comments

31 Comments

  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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5 things we learned on day two of the Presidents Cup 2019

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Guess who will take a split of the points each of the next two days? That’s absolutely correct! The men in tan and black, and green and black. In addition to having amazing color schemes for their wardrobe choices, Team International preserved a 3-point advantage over Team USA after two days of competition in Melbourne. Should it have been a wider margin? Might it have been closer? That’s what we want to dig into, with the five things we learned on day two of the last Presidents Cup of this decade. School is in session!

1. It should have been closer

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar were 2 up after 5, and also after 7, in their match against Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen. By the 10th tee, they were all square. In fact, that 7th-hole win by the Americans was their last hole won on the day. Ouch. Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson won three holes on the outward half on Friday. Their only concern was that the ROWOE (rest of the world outside Europe) won four. And then won 3 against the RWB’s 1, for a 2nd-consecutive loss. I’ll have more on the Simpson-Reed pairing in a moment, but if the Americans are to win this competition, they will need to receive more birdies (ROWOE had 4 & 6 birds, respectively, in the aforementioned, in alternate-shot matches) from all team members, and get the ball in the hole first.

2. It should have been wider

The obvious match to point to, is the final one of the day. Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im stood on the 16th tee in a strong position. They held a 2-up lead over Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland, and were poised to make the margin 7 to 3. Back came the American duo, with birdies at 16 and 17, to erase the deficit. Imagine the horror if the RWB had won a 3rd-consecutive hole, and trimmed the margin to 6-4! Fortunately for Smith/Im, they held strong and halved the 18th in pars, escaping with a half-point and just a few bruises. In the day’s 4th match, eyes were on the powerful pairing of Tiger and Justin. Could they recreate their first-day magic? They needed to, if the USA were to preserve any hope. The day started well, with 2 holes won over the first 5 holes. Then Ben and Hideki lit fire to 3 consecutive holes, turning a 2-down into a 1-up, International-squad advantage. And then came the USA, with a win at the 9th, for an all-square (with 6 holes traded) at the midway point.

Things got interesting on the inward half. More a dance than a tussle, two more holes were exchanged early, then 4 went by with no blood. On the 18th tee, all square, with so much on the line (pride, margin, well, pride and margin) and JTTW came through. With a magnificent birdie at the last, Tiger and Justin didn’t lose, nor did they tie. They won the most crucial point for the 2nd consecutive day. Their win on Thursday avoided the shutout, the dreaded tennis bagel. On Friday, they gave Team USA a reason to cheer, and a reason to hope.

3. Bet me…Bet me!!!

I’m not the brightest when it comes to bets. Check out the comments from Friday’s, first-round 5 Things, and you’ll see a bet I made with one of our readers. Pretty awesome bet on Sungjae, except for the fact that he wasn’t playing his own ball on Friday! I shall accept my loss and claim distraction as my only culprit. I shall also ask for double-or-nothing from said reader, and wager as gentlemen once again, that Sungjae will make 9 birdies on his own ball, in Saturday’s first match. That’s correct, the one that tees off at 7:16. Yessir, the one where he and Abraham Ancer will compete against the state of California (Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele).

4. Back to golf…and Saturday’s AM pairings

TIGER ON THE BENCH! Indeed, the captain has benched himself. The captain knew that the player would need rest, and the captain needs to lead his golfers around Royal Melbourne. Take a look back at how quickly Seve Ballesteros drove around Ryder Cup matches…no governor in that golf cart. He needed to be everywhere, for everyone. Tiger will do the same, mark my words. As fast as Royal Melbourne is playing, he won’t need much acceleration. Yes, it’s an exhibition, and no, it won’t be the end of the world if the USA loses. Tiger doesn’t accept losing, not before, nor during, nor after, the final putt is holed. More important, his reclaimed legacy in the game will include how he fairs as #PrezCup and #RyderCup captain. He will say to Justin, Padawan, I’ve given you all I know. Now you are a Jedi. Get Rickie’s head in the game!!! To Patrick and Xander, he will say Hey, Calif boys, I’m one of you. Just a little older, is all. Let’s get it done, west coast style. To Webb and Patrick, he will … jeez, what do you say to these guys? O42 and not showing much sign of life. Maybe they will pull one out for the big cat. If not, we can remove the Captain-America nickname from Reed’s slumping shoulders. Finally, he will look at two more, underachievers (trust me, they’re great in the team room) named Finau and Kuchar, and perhaps say more than They’re good to Finau and Tip better to Kuchar.

And the International side? We begin with LiLeishman. Haotong Li makes his debut with Leishman in the morning’s first match. The faith that Els has in Leishman! He gave him Niemann on day one, Ancer on day two and now Li on day three. Leishman is the rookie whisperer on this squad. He must be like a mix of teddy bear and boa constrictor. Next we have Abe and Im. Guess what? They haven’t partnered each other yet, but Ancer is 2-0 and Im, 1.5-0.5. They are pretty strong and might be the darlings of these matches. Third come Pan and Matsu. This is the first time that partners have reprised their roles. That’s a mountain of respect from the Big Easy. First, he trusts them to play well with each other. Second, he trusts his entire company to play well WITH ANYONE! Last come Ben and Adam. OK, they also played together on day one. So much for my theory. Good pairing, I’ll admit. Big comeback, they had, against Finau and Bryson.

5. Speaking of Bryson…

Where is El fuerte, el gigante, los SMUsculos? On the sidelines for a second-consecutive match, he is. He and his 4-degree driver, his new build, his…inability to partner well in four-ball? If he didn’t play on Friday in foursomes, is he likely to play on Saturday in foursomes? Who knows? That’s a rough assessment, and will either motivate (or soul-crush) him for Sunday’s singles match. Oh, right, it’s an exhibition. I always get ahead of myself.

See all the things we learned? Sometimes they happen on the course, and sometimes, in my mind. Remember: 9 birdies this evening/tomorrow morning from Sungjae. Put it in the bank. And collect interest. And bet on him again.

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5 things we learned on day one of the Presidents Cup 2019

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The 2019 Presidents Cup, the 13th playing of the match between an international squad and one from the USA, began in precisely the manner that American playing captain Tiger Woods had desired. The first round of five matches closed exactly as International captain Ernie Els had hoped. The Royal Melbourne golf course, a composite layout that blends the best of the storied club’s East and West 18s, provided an unpredictable yet ideal stage for what all involved expect to be an unforgettable, four days of matches. Although we could write for hours on the shots, decisions, conditioning, and uniforms of the squads, we’ve distilled our thoughts to a succinct five things that we learned on Day One—Wednesday evening (USA time) and Thursday morning (Australia time)—of the 2019 Presidents Cup. Come join us.

1. The golf course matters

So often in team events, the golf course is sold to the highest bidder. If funding is needed, that’s the trade-off of modern, professional sport. The West course belongs to the wit of Alister MacKenzie, while the East fell under the mastery of Alex Russell and M.A Morcom, in the spirit of the master of the West course. The two meld seamlessly, allowing a composite course to host the club’s most important events. The course plays akin to a links, in an Australian Sandbelt manner. The fairways and greens are firm, fast, unforgiving yet welcoming. The bunkering is equal parts apparent and subdued. The entire course is at the mercy of capricious winds, and it is those putting surfaces, with their cant and roll, their spines and splines, that provide the culminating interest to each hole. If you’ve not been an architectural aficionado until now, sit back for the next three days and four rounds, and devour all that you can learn about exquisite, golf course design.

2. Captain Tiger came to play, and he may have found a partner

In days of yore, Severiano Ballesteros and José María Olazabal were an unbeatable partnership for team Europe in the Ryder Cup matches. Since then, as pundits are wont to do, anticipation and prediction for the next, unstoppable duo have been commonplace and unwelcome. No one has fallen under that looking glass with more frequency, than Tiger Woods. Say what you will about Seve and Olly; neither was in the conversation of the greatest player of all time. Such is the burden that Woods wears on his shoulders. In 2019, the latest partner in the firm is Justin Thomas. A major champion and multiple-times, tour winner himself, Thomas does not shrink from the bright light of fame. On Thursday, he and Woods began the event with a convincing, 4 & 3 victory over homebred Marc Leishman and ingenuo Joaquín Niemann of Chile. Woods made an impeccable birdie at the first: perfect drive, elegant pitch, conceded putt, and the duo was away with the sun. Their lead reached 3 up by the 5th, but the Internationals rallied to 1 down, with 2 consecutive, won holes at 6 and 7. Unmoved, the Americans won the 9th and the 11th to again reach 3 up. Back came the rest of the world at the 12th, but birdies at 14 and 15 concluded the day for the westerners.

One thing was learned from match one on day one: follow Tiger Woods. 12 holes were won outright in his pairing. If you want drama, excitement, back and forth, follow the Woods.

3. Fortunately for Els, Tiger can’t play in every match

Much has been made about the metrics that Ernie Els and his assistant captains utilized in the selection of numbers 9 through 12, and the subsequent pairings for practice and matches. When the gifts are wrapped and the planning concluded, the tell is the conduct of the golfers on course. Perhaps Marc Leishman’s sole job was to acclimate Niemann to the greatest pressure of the international stage; that much, and anything more, is unknown. What is known is this: the other four teams were unanticipated, and their performances, unknown. Sungjae Im and Adam Hadwin had the nervy task of following the opening match with Woods, and righting the international ship. Im’s unfathomable eagle pitch at the first found the bottom of the cup, and that lead held until the 6th. The Korean and the Canadian went 1 down with consecutive losses, but won the 9th to square the match once more. Even they stood until the difficult, par-four 16th, when Hadwin made a gutsy par as the other three went off into neverland, and the International side hung on for a 1-up victory. Others would follow.

4. The others that followed

Byeong Hun “Ben” An and Adam Scott dispatched the length of Tony Finau, and the newly-expanded muscles of Bryson DeChambeau, by 2&1. Much like the 2nd match of the day, match 3 was a chess battle. Just 6 holes changed hands, and the International lead of 2 up stood from the 14th hole to the end. If an approach is to find the neighborhood of the hole, it won’t arrive with spin and back-up. Instead, it will trace a roundabout corridor along the ground, allowing it to complete its revolutions as it nears the flagstick. This golf is fun!

C.T. Pan and Hideki Matsuyama jumped out early, by 2 up after 4 holes. Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed did manage to win 3 holes on the day, but were never able to do so consecutively, to build momentum. As the sun seemed to finally shine on the American side, with Reed squaring the match at 16, Pan made birdie at the penultimate hole and reclaimed the lead for Chinese Taipei and Japan, and the pair held on for a 1-up win.

Depending on your taste, the final match was done before it began. Someone turned the heat too high on the panini maker, and Abraham Ancer (Mexico) and Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) jumped out to a 4-up lead after 4 holes. Even thought Ancer on Louis’ shoulders matches Dustin Johnson in height, on this day, Gary Woodland and Johnson were outclassed. They attempted to fight back, as major champions do, but when your side wins a solitary hole on the day, that match ain’t going your way. Mercifully, it ended at the 15th green, a complete flip-flop from how the day began.

5. The Ins and Outs of day two

Who’s in and who’s out? Aussie Cameron Smith moves into the lineup, with C.T. Pan dropping out for the International squad. Interestingly, China’s Haotong Li will not make an appearance, meaning he might be on the slate for 36 holes on Saturday, followed by 18 more on Sunday. For the Red, White and Blue, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar step up for roll call on day two, with Bryson and Tony taking a rest. What’s up with Li? Who knows. Here’s what’s important.

The captains are taking entirely opposite strategies for the Friday foursomes (alternate shot) competition. Captain Tiger will preserve 3 of his 5 pairings for the 2nd day of matches He and JT, Webb and Pat, and Xander/Cantlay will return as partners. Kucher will lead off with DJ, while Fowler will accompany Woodland in the day’s last dance. In complete contrast, Captain Ernie changed all five of his partnerships, in what could only be described as a series of amicable breakups. Scott and Louis will lead off, followed by Niemann and Hadwin. Ancer pairs with Leishman in the 3rd match, with Matsuyama joining An in the 4th. The closing duo will be Smith and Im, and let me tell you this: the final duo might birdie every hole on the course.

You need to watch this. You need to Tevo this (does anyone Tevo anymore?). The golf is spectacular, the venue is the best we will see this decade or next, and the players are motivated in the most positive of ways. Join us.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from inside the Mizuno European Tour truck

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GolfWRX got an exclusive look inside Mizuno’s European Tour truck, thanks to the sleuthing efforts of one Rob Brooks, aka @GolfNation_ on Instagram.

Brooks captured plenty of shots of drool-worthy tour only goods, some good looks at the tools of the job, as well as some of the best photos of 2020 Mizzy wares—including the ST200 drivers—we’ve seen.

We have four jam-packed galleries for your perusal in the forums, but to whet your appetite, enjoy the Mizuno morsels below.

Check out all four of our galleries from the tour truck, below.

 

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