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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 the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] 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*#[email protected] 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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Collin Morikawa WITB 2021 (June)

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 degrees @14)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P770 (4), P7MC (5-6), TaylorMade P730 (7-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (50, 60 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (56-14F @55 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade TP Juno

Ball: TaylorMade 2021 TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord

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5 things we learned Saturday at the U.S. Women’s Open

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The U.S. Open is all about hanging in and hanging on. The U.S. Open at the Olympic Club is all about avoiding that big number. The big number is all that keeps Brooke Henderson and Angel Yin from the top of the leader board. Its avoidance is all that has kept six golfers at the top of the charts. For giggles, imagine that Henderson and Yin toss rounds in the mid 60s on Sunday, and three or more of the top six struggle. You see where this leads, right? The 2021 U.S. Open is far from over, despite being three-quarters complete.

We learned five new things about this year’s competition, and we’ll share them with you now in the Saturday edition of Five Things We Learned at the U.S. Women’s Open.

1. Lexi Thompson has a chance

She’s in the lead with one round to go, but it’s not a large lead. Thompson missed the first three greens but recovered with a putt, a chip, and a sandie. That’s three misses that might easily have turned into bogey. See where this leads? Lexi’s misses have been left off the tee, no matter the club. She missed left off number one with driver; two with fairway metal; and three with iron. Her step-out move, where the lead foot jumps left to help clear the hips, can lead to the miss left.

On her side is her touch. She is putting from off and on the greens with tremendous pace awareness. Her sand game was impeccable, with wonderful up-and-downs at three and seven on day three. Her chipping through the thickish greenside rough has been forceful. All those things led to 66 on Saturday. Lexi has finished inside the top 10 at the Open on four occasions, including a career-best T2 in 2019. What will 2021 bring?

2. Yuka Saso is seeing all of the Lake course

The fearless young Filipina apparently has no problem making bogey. For a brief moment late, she was tied with Lexi Thompson for first, but made bogey at the last to fall back to 6 under par. The foozle was her fourth on the day, matching her birdie tally. Saso’s story could be much different if she had the ability to corral her emotions and game and avoid the bogey derailments. Saso reached eight deep at the 10th hole but made back-back bogeys at 13 and 14 to fall back.

What led to her bogeys? At four, she reached the green in regulation but putted timidly down the slope from distance, and missed the next one for par. At 13, she short-sided herself against a sucker hole location and could only minimize the damage by pitching to green center. At 14, she again overcooked an iron to the left and was unable to pitch and putt for par. At the last, her approach from the fairway did not release left. Instead, it nestled in thick greenside cabbage, and once again, minimized her options.

Saso will need better approach play on Sunday if she is to challenge Thompson for the title. She certainly has demonstrated the game, but will she pair it well with the proper demeanor? That remains to be seen.

3. Mel Reid’s challenge faded away

It’s only fair to recognize the effort that the Englishwoman put forth in this year’s championship. She held a share of the opening-round lead but turned in higher and higher scores as the weekend arrived. On Saturday, Reid foundered with three double bogeys and five singles on her way to 78 and a tie for 23rd. As if mocking her plight, the golf gods allowed her to hole a 100-yard wedge for eagle two at the 11th hole. Alas, that moment and her birdie at the 15th were the only bright spots on a forgettable day for Mel Reid.

4. What to do with Megha Ganne?

She’s precocious in her confidence, and her game has held up through three rounds. Ganne will again play in the penultimate pairing, this time with 2019 Open champion Jeongeun Lee6. Ganne has gone from 6 birdies to 3, to 2 on Saturday. This trend does not bode well. Either she is timid in her approach shots, or she is conservative in her strategy. What does Megha Ganne want from Sunday? She should want to play like she did on Thursday: fearless. Neither crazy nor casual, but fearless. Maja Stark is but four shots behind in the race for low amateur, so that prize is not guaranteed. If Ganne rediscovers her vibe from day one, she’ll make a run at the title and cement the low amateur baubles. If she plays like she did over the last 36 holes, well, you can extrapolate.

5. Who wins on Sunday?

They say that the U.S. Open chooses you. It has already chosen Jeongeun Lee6 once, and it will select her again on the sixth day of June, 2021. Lee Thee Six did nothing on Saturday to confirm this hunch, and she will begin the final round four strokes behind the leader. She will begin it one group ahead of the leader, and we predict that she will be 3 under on her round by the sixth hole. This fast start will catch the attention of the top pairing, and will ultimately allow her to add a second Open trophy to her shelf.

 

 

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5 things we learned Friday at the U.S. Women’s Open

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Here’s a bit of a primer on how we compose our 5 Things series during major championship weeks. Thursday’s review is Hopes and Dreams, as 54 holes remain, and it is always the day with the most surprising results. Friday’s recap is A Farewell to Thee, as we bide adieu to half the field. Still too early to truly understand who might win. Saturday, moving day to most, is Position Round for us. Players stake out an advantageous spot from which to attack on Sunday. Day four is Cauldron, when the tension bubbles like lava, and golfers make a name for themselves.

Thus, we find ourselves saying good-bye in this update, knowing that the hopes and dreams of many have been erased, but that they will rise again to compete in less than a week. The leaderboard is less compacted, thanks to Yuka Saso’s move to minus 6.

Let’s run down five important elements of the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open at the Olympic Club, as they will paint the background of the tournament canvas.

1. Farewell to thee

Defending champion A Lim Kim, current British Open champion Sophia Popov, world No. 4 Nelly Korda, and a spate of former champions (Wie West, Sung-hyun, Lang, Creamer, Eun-hee) will miss the weekend. All in all, that’s not a lot of big names. We’re in for a treat this weekend. Lots of short irons into elevated greens with plenty o’ tilt to them. Approach shots will dance and putts will fall. Simply put, the best golf on television this weekend.

2. Meg Thee Pairing

Tied for third position, a pair of shots behind the leader, are Megan Khang and amateur Megha Ganne, both from the USA. Megan Thee Khang added a minus-1 effort to her opening minus-3 with birdies at the first, 12th, and 17th holes. Megha Thee Ganne reached minus 6 after a 10-foot birdie putt at the wee seventh. A pair of back-nine bogeys dropped her back to where she began. She then finished birdie-par-bogey to gain a spot in the penultimate pairing.

Can a 17-year old amateur win? We say yes, but we’re not picking her. Can a 23-year old professional with no victories, win? Absolutely, but not our choice. It’s the U.S. Open, baby! It’s Open for just that reason.

3. Philippines Represent!

Yuka Saso won a pair of medals at the 2018 Asian Games. On Friday in San Francisco, the Filipina 19-year-old tossed a stellar 67, one shot off the day’s low round of 66. Saso had six birdies against a pair of bogeys and took a one-shot lead over former U.S. Open champion Jeongeun Lee6. Saso has 10 birdies through two rounds and will need to keep sizing her nest over the next two days in order to have a shot at the winner’s trophy. Birdie both days at the tricky 18th bodes well. Nothing like finishing strong for added confidence.

4. Classic courses suit her

In 2019, Jeongeun Lee6 won her only USA event at the Country Club of Charleston. The Seth Raynor course hosted the U.S. Open that year, and Lee6 won by two shots over a triumvirate of chasers. This year, Lee6 finds herself in the final pairing for round three, one stroke behind the leader. Olympic Club’s Lake Course is a William Watson design. Watson is not as well known as other Golden-Age architects (Colt, Raynor, Travis, Macdonald, MacKenzie, Ross, et al.) but his work is enviable and playable. Attempting to close her second round with four consecutive birdies, Lee6 left her putt for three at the last six inches short, in the jaws of the cup.

5. Who do we predict will win?

We’re still big on Lexi Thompson. She finished runner-up to JL6 in 2019 and lurks at 2-under, four off the lead. Lexi has made a pair of bogeys each day. She’ll need to up her birdie count to have a run at the title. What will determine her fortune? The putter, the one club that runs hot and cold for the 26-year old champion.

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