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Cheating in Professional Golf


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#1 coozapalooza

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:03 PM

Hello.

I am preparing to write an essay for an English class I am taking this year, and I have chosen to write about how golf is a game of honor, and how you must enforce the rules on yourself often, and such. I need several pages on this, so I figured somewhere I can include a little thing on how it is often different in professional golf with everyone watching.

I was wondering, can anyone recall any scandals or something like that of professionals caught cheating, or accused of it at least? If you can post any sort of link, I could probably use it in the bibliography, and that'd be great.

I'm also curious about this myself anyway, so even if you can't post a link, I'd love to hear.

Thanks for any and all help I can get everyone, I appreciate it.


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#2 rblmp32

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:05 PM

Vjay was way back in like 1985 I think we he first turned pro.  Don't know the specifics or what not.

#3 mat562

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:07 PM

Singh was accused of altering his scorecard in an Asian Tour event in 1985 - specifically changing a score on a par 5 hole to read two strokes less than his actual score - which allowed him to make the cut in the event rather than not as his recorded scorewould have dictated. Apparently his playing partner noticed his name on a list of players who had qualified and challenged Singh's score knowing that this should not have been the case. An examination revealed that the scorecard bore evidence of having been altered and Singh was challenged and denied any wrongdoing. Nonetheless, the tour committee felt that the evidence was sufficient to substantiate the allegation and he was suspended from the tour and took a job as a club professional in Malaysia when he lost his playing privileges.

In 1988, he was allowed to enter the European Tour Qualifying School at La Manga for the secondyear running and was successful in gaining his tour card that year (along with Jesper Parnevik if I remember correctly) and went on to play in Europe for several years.

There are several allegations of cheating in pro golf besides. Greg Norman once accused Jumbo Ozaki of being 'creative' with the use of his driver when he observed Ozaki placing the clubhead behind his ball in deep rough, supposedly flattening the grass, before subsequently hitting the shot with an iron. A furious Norman was apparently told: 'You can't accuse Jumbo of cheating in Japan' (or something similar) by the Japan PGA and the matter was apparently whitewashed due to Ozaki's celebrity, much to Norman's chagrin.

Gary Player once famously criticised Tom Watson (albeit stopped short of calling him a cheat) when the latter's iron set was examined and found to have some illegal grooves. He went as far as to suggest that some of Watson's major victories should be annulled in light of the discovery. They weren't, and the episode generated a bit of an atmosphere between the two players for some time afterwards.

Edited by mat562, 02 September 2008 - 01:23 PM.


#4 jaskanski

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:10 PM

Didn't Greg Norman accuse Jumbo Osaki of cheating once? I think it was improving his lie in the rough by using a driver to ground behind the ball then switching to an iron.
Good old Greg also had a spat with Mark Maccumber over tapping down spike marks too I believe.

#5 Taylormadematt

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:11 PM

Ross Fishers first Win, even though nothing came of it, they looked for a long time.


#6 kevcarter

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:13 PM

Colin Montgomerie's drop after a rain delay a few years ago. I don't know how to help you find any of these suggestions...

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#7 playar32

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:14 PM

monty a few years back improved his lie after a rain delay from right outside a bunker to further away from a bunker to built a stance.

#8 kevcarter

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:19 PM

View Postplayar32, on Sep 2 2008, 12:14 PM, said:

monty a few years back improved his lie after a rain delay from right outside a bunker to further away from a bunker to built a stance.

Sorry my friend, we posted at the same time. Great minds, and also not so great minds, think alike! :rolleyes:

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#9 Logie

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:37 PM

View PostTaylormadematt, on Sep 2 2008, 07:11 PM, said:

Ross Fishers first Win, even though nothing came of it, they looked for a long time.


Was this the one in the Dutch open that was spotted by someone on TV, phoned in and they investigated it? Think he moved a brambel or something...

#10 slim16er

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:59 PM

Woody last year - (Hard to explain, but...) it looked like he ment to tap the ball in the hole but his putter caught a bit too much of the ground first and stopped.  Looked like a stroke to me.


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#11 skinkman

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:19 PM

Quote

[Gary Player once famously criticised Tom Watson (albeit stopped short of calling him a cheat) when the latter's iron set was examined and found to have some illegal grooves. He went as far as to suggest that some of Watson's major victories should be annulled in light of the discovery. They weren't, and the episode generated a bit of an atmosphere between the two players for some time afterwards.


I thought it was the other way round..Watson accusing Player of blatantly cheating..improving his lie in the rough..the same thing Norman was upset with Jumbo over..I wonder if Player got Watson back in vengeance..
Player was accused of cheating a few times..

do a google search on golfers who cheat..I am sure some names would come up...hopefully no one on this board :rolleyes:

Edited by skinkman, 02 September 2008 - 02:21 PM.


#12 coozapalooza

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:20 PM

Wow thanks for all the help so far guys. Keep it comin', if possible! :rolleyes:

#13 skinkman

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:23 PM

search on the following with cheating as a your key search:

Norman- McCumber
Norman- Jumbo
Watson- Player
Woody Austin
VJ Singh
Azinger


still with regards to how many people play pro golf..the number of known cheaters is still rather small :rolleyes:

#14 mat562

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:35 PM

Very true about Player; or 'the little man' as I think Watson referred to him in the aftermath of Player's comments.

Player is indeed no stranger to controversy although I think a few people preceded Watson in calling him out on some of the episodes. The most famous 'Playergate' was during the Open Championship when Player (or rather his caddy) was alleged to have possibly done a bit of an Oddjob after it looked like he was a dead cert to lose a ball in the hay on the 71st hole. Miraculously, the ball was found (or dropped down a trouser leg if you choose to believe the conspiracy theorists) with seconds to spare and the Man In Black went on to win. It caused a ruckus at the time, but the diminutive South African has consistently gained four inches in height and in chest size ever since whenever he's asked about it and anyone doing so runs the risk of getting a nasty right hook to their kneecap..

#15 rblmp32

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:37 PM

View Postmat562, on Sep 2 2008, 03:35 PM, said:

Very true about Player; or 'the little man' as I think Watson referred to him in the aftermath of Player's comments.

Player is indeed no stranger to controversy although I think a few people preceded Watson in calling him out on some of the episodes. The most famous 'Playergate' was during the Open Championship when Player (or rather his caddy) was alleged to have possibly done a bit of an Oddjob after it looked like he was a dead cert to lose a ball in the hay on the 71st hole. Miraculously, the ball was found (or dropped down a trouser leg if you choose to believe the conspiracy theorists) with seconds to spare and the Man In Black went on to win. It caused a ruckus at the time, but the diminutive South African has consistently gained four inches in height and in chest size ever since whenever he's asked about it and anyone doing so runs the risk of getting a nasty right hook to their kneecap..


Great story... the last sentence has me in stitches.   :rolleyes:


#16 mjc694

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:45 PM

how about bobby jones calling a shot on himself when his ball moved, unperceived by anyone else, at the US Open in 1925 if memory serves.  Kind of a great story of NOT cheating.

#17 Johnny

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:47 PM

View Postmat562, on Sep 2 2008, 11:07 AM, said:

Gary Player once famously criticised Tom Watson (albeit stopped short of calling him a cheat) when the latter's iron set was examined and found to have some illegal grooves. He went as far as to suggest that some of Watson's major victories should be annulled in light of the discovery. They weren't, and the episode generated a bit of an atmosphere between the two players for some time afterwards.


probably stems from Watson says that Player improved his lie from time to time and didn't know how to make his ball on the greens.. no surprise there.
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#18 mat562

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 03:30 PM

As touched on above, a cracking televised spat occurred at Kiawah in the first days' foursomes of the '91 Ryder Cup when Seve and Jose Maria Olazabal were matched against Chip Beck and Paul Azinger.

On one tee Seve's beady eye spotted something amiss with the number on Beck's Titleist and realised that the American pair had apparently been swapping between 90 and 100 compression Titleists as the conditions dictated - contravening the 'one ball rule' that was in effect as per the regular tour's regulations.

A bit of a heated debate occurred on (I think) the 10th tee, which the TV crews understandably gave some coverage, and Seve accused the pair of knowingly switching balls. Olazabal and Beck played a pretty minor role but Seve and Azinger went at it like men posessed. Whether Seve actually used the word 'cheat' is disputed, but Azinger was vociferous in the defence of himself and his partner, memorably stating 'we screwed up but we weren't cheating' and calling Seve 'the King of Gamesmanship.'

After a bit of peacekeeping by officials, things were encouraged to continue and Seve and Olazabal responded by turning a match they looked like losing into a 2&1 victory by storming through the back nine with a vengeance. Seve did a sort of golfing equivalent of Mel Gibson's William Wallace after his wife was bumped off and was the lynchpin of some wondrous play that turned the match around.

A bit of a cold war atmosphere existed for a while afterwards (and, in fairness, there always had been a bit of a rift between Azinger and Seve after the Spaniard accused Azinger of taking an incorrect drop on the Belfy's 18th in their singles match in the preceding Ryder Cup) but despite the press building things up to a supposed vendetta, Azinger revealed that one of the first people to call him and offer support after his cancer diagnosis was Seve.

Edited by mat562, 03 November 2011 - 09:57 AM.


#19 Brad31

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 03:44 PM

Didnt Normal get DQd for an illegal ball or something to do with his golf ball? Maybe 10 yrs ago?

#20 jaskanski

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 03:46 PM

Yes, his Maxfli XS had not been submitted to the R&A for testing and was therefore not on the conforming list for competative play. Not really cheating though.


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#21 mat562

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    My ex had an irrational phobia of salad cream. Honestly.

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 03:48 PM

That wasn't cheating. He was inadvertently using a Maxfli XS ball that had different cover markings to the ones that were on the USGA conforming list.

Edit: Great minds mate. Great minds... :rolleyes:

Edited by mat562, 02 September 2008 - 03:56 PM.


#22 Giantbear

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:21 PM

I am pretty sure MArk O'Mear had a ball marking incident in 97 or 98 where he was accused and apparently caught on video replacing his ball a half inch closer to the hole from where it originally lied.  Not sure if this was cheating or just a boo boo.

#23 Ronzo

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:45 PM

Jane Blalock had a LPGA Tour ball marking incident haunt her for quite some time, but I'm not sure if it was deserved or not.

#24 animalistic

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:52 PM

What about the guy who was found to have been marking his ball way closer to the hole in Open Qualifying and was subsequently DQ'd and banned from Pro golf for life??
I'm sure Mat has the details!....Think Robertson was his name?

#25 Taylormadematt

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:56 PM

View PostLogie, on Sep 2 2008, 07:37 PM, said:

View PostTaylormadematt, on Sep 2 2008, 07:11 PM, said:

Ross Fishers first Win, even though nothing came of it, they looked for a long time.


Was this the one in the Dutch open that was spotted by someone on TV, phoned in and they investigated it? Think he moved a brambel or something...


Thats the one logie, because Fisher had beaten a Dutch player, they got abit nasty and reported him


#26 mat562

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    My ex had an irrational phobia of salad cream. Honestly.

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 05:15 PM

View Postanimalistic, on Sep 2 2008, 04:52 PM, said:

What about the guy who was found to have been marking his ball way closer to the hole in Open Qualifying and was subsequently DQ'd and banned from Pro golf for life??
I'm sure Mat has the details!....Think Robertson was his name?

I do remember it mate. David Robertson was the lad's name, and it was the year of Sandy Lyle's win, I think, in 1985. It was during the final qualifying stage.

As I remember he was taking the mickey a bit and moving the thing about 15 feet at a time and had previously been caught fudging - hence the harsh punishment, presumably. His technique was to dash up to the green ahead of his playing partners and pick up his ball before hiding the coin in the back of his Ping Anser so he could plonk it down a bit nearer, or on a more advantageous line, without being caught bang to rights.

Sadly, his playing partners weren't completely stupid, and he got hammered.

Edited by mat562, 03 November 2011 - 09:58 AM.


#27 Taylormadematt

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 05:17 PM

Mat. you ever thought about doing mastermind?

#28 mat562

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 05:18 PM

:rolleyes:

'And your chosen specialist subject?'

'Ridiculously obscure bits of trivia - 1984 to present day.'

#29 astamm8

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:09 PM

View PostGiantbear, on Sep 2 2008, 02:21 PM, said:

I am pretty sure MArk O'Mear had a ball marking incident in 97 or 98 where he was accused and apparently caught on video replacing his ball a half inch closer to the hole from where it originally lied. Not sure if this was cheating or just a boo boo.

great topic.

i, too, remember this. as i recall, the video evidence seemed pretty 'conclusive'. i'd be interested to know if anybody can recall the details. i remember thinking that it was a 'minor' mistake and while penalty worthy, not cheating. who's gonna cheat to move a ball like 1/2 an inch? but, i remember a comentator or someone suggesting it didn't make sense, because all the pros just put the back of the ball on the edge of the coin, period. here's o'meara missing by 1/2 an inch, the comentator had doubts. (maybe o'meara just needed a ball marker rounded like the ball like that circle t ball marker instead of that tricky rounded the other way coin...)

what about palmer at the '58 masters? as venturi tells it in his book it sounds pretty convincing. i've not read (apparently he addressed the issue in a couple of his books) arnie's response, but i'd love to. here's something i found as it's a better description than i'd give...

"Venturi, who finished two shots behind him, is suggesting in his book that Palmer breached the rules because he did not decide to play the second ball until after he had made the five with the first. “You have to declare a second ball before you hit you first one,” Venturi writes. “Suppose you had chipped in with the first ball, would you still be playing a second?” he asks. According to the Venturi account, he confronted Palmer with his doubts about the legitimacy of accepting the free drop both during the round and again in the scorer’s tent at the end of the round. “You’re signing an incorrect card,” he claims he told Palmer. “No I’m not,” he says Palmer replied. “The ruling was made.” In digging up the mid-20th century controversy, Venturi claims he had the support of the great Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, the Augusta National co-founders who have been dead for more than a quarter of a century. “I firmly believe that Arnold did wrong,” said Venturi. “And that he knows that I know he did wrong.” Palmer, through a spokesman, has declined to comment."

Edited by astamm8, 02 September 2008 - 06:23 PM.


#30 mat562

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:15 PM

The O'Meara incident was at the '97 (?) Lancome Trophy and was raised by Jarmo Sandelin (he of the comedy golfing wardrobe and 7 foot long driver).

As I remember, it was a bit of a storm in a teacup and basically involved O'Meara not replacing his ball flush with the edge of his marker - albeit it was never shown that he had in fact placed the marker flush against the ball in the first place.

The genial American always denied any wrongdoing or gaining any advantage and, in all honesty, Sandelin was probably the only person in the world who thought anything of it.


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