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‘The USGA needs to smarten up’ – ‘P****d off’ major champ blasts ‘silly’ rule at Players Champ

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Over the weekend, Keegan Bradley received a two stroke penalty that had a huge impact on his chances of becoming the 2022 Players Champion.

During the second round, while on the 16th green, the 35-year-old marked his ball before a gust of wind moved it. He then played his shot from where he originally marked it, rather than from where the wind moved it to. Soon after, he was informed that his par- 5 was changed to double bogey-7 on the scorecard.

Prior to teeing off on Monday, Bradley was -5 and four shots back of the lead. He expressed frustration about the supposed infraction, but he made an impressive final round charge despite the consequential ruling.

The fact that he was in contention late in the event likely made the sting of the two shot penalty that much more painful. The former PGA champion spoke more about the ruling after the conclusion of the tournament in which he finished in a tie for 9th, and blasted the USGA with some scathing remarks:

“I think the USGA needs to smarten up and change that rule,” he said. “It’s so silly. They try to make the rules easier, and they never get it right.

“I had that two-shot penalty, and it didn’t even faze me. It p****d me off really and made me more focused.

“It was a fluke thing. I was saying a million things had to happen all at once for this to happen. It was perfect timing, it was the gust. If I take one second longer or one second shorter, this never happens.

“I’ve spoken to a bunch of the guys. Not one player knows this rule. We all thought common sense says you put your coin down, that’s where your ball is. I didn’t want to break the rules by moving my coin. I was trying to do the right thing.

This day and age, if you do something like that, it’s going to be seen. Thank God they did or I could have been DQ’d.”

It will be interesting to see if the rule is changed in the future. I would argue that Bradley certainly deserved better than the eventual fifth place that he finished in.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. A. Commoner

    Mar 31, 2022 at 8:25 am

    Character is revealed in such episodes. Poor, persecuted me: 1. No one else knew the rule. 2.It’s some one else’s fault. Grade school stuff.

  2. Eric

    Mar 24, 2022 at 9:39 am

    I blame the caddy. Yes Keegan Bradley should know the rules, but the caddy should be a walking rules book.

    It’s not that the rules are complex it’s just that they’ve changed.

  3. CrashTestDummy

    Mar 23, 2022 at 3:23 am

    Yes, it was an infraction and the correct ruling, but I totally agree with Bradley. The rule does not make sense.

    The rule should be as follows. As soon as you put down your mark, that should automatically solidify the position of the ball. If the wind blows it or if you accidently hit it with your hand, no penalty and just replace it on the mark. Only if the ball moves by the wind or slope before you place mark, then the new ball position is where it is played. Common sense.

  4. Imafitter

    Mar 18, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Read the rules. If there is something you think needs to be addressed, then do it with your rules committee.

  5. Arieta L

    Mar 18, 2022 at 9:18 am

    I can understand the sentiment that these guys should know the rules. But maybe we can look at it and say if THESE guys don’t know the rules maybe the rules are too ridiculously complex?

  6. Ty Taylor

    Mar 17, 2022 at 9:08 am

    A couple of weeks back Rory’s ball blew about a foot from its position on the green. Called in an official who had him move it back and putt out. Completely opposite of this incident with Bradley.?????

    • Bob

      Mar 18, 2022 at 1:42 pm

      If he marked it, replaced it, and it moved it was the correct ruling.

  7. MIKE CULP

    Mar 16, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    The ball moved before he could pick it up, that is why he was not allowed to play it from where he marked it

  8. T-Bone

    Mar 16, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    Of course, you could actually know the rules. That might help.

  9. GGJ

    Mar 16, 2022 at 10:31 am

    Would he have been so quick to move his ball back if it rolled closer to the hole or even in the hole? Probably not. These babies call rule official every other time; if he doesn’t know, then call one in. If you’re too lazy to learn the rules, send your caddie to rules school!

  10. chip75

    Mar 15, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    I thought they changed the rule a few years back? once the ball is marked it’s marked even if it moves (I thought that was the change). I remember an incident at Augusta where a player marked their ball on 15 and a gust blew it into the water after they removed their marker when they were wandering around the green. If it moves before you mark it it’s still in play.

    • suncoast9

      Mar 16, 2022 at 4:21 pm

      Under the new rule you own the spot on the green after you have lifted your ball. Simply marking the ball is not sufficient. So you mark it, lift it, replace it, then if it moves you put it back.
      I agree the rule would be better if marking was sufficient to own the spot. Regardless, I am surprised that any professional golfer playing for millions of dollars would not know the rule.

      • No one

        Mar 20, 2022 at 9:46 pm

        Agree the rule should be changed immediately. I’ll be marking lifting an inch and putting it back as a stupid habit.

  11. El Culebraso

    Mar 15, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Every time one of these “professionals” mess up is the ruling bodies fault they are too dumb to know the rules of their own profession.

    Spoiled millionaires….

    • El Culebraso is duumm

      Mar 15, 2022 at 9:58 pm

      The Peoples who supposedly know the rules best in the world don’t know the rules of golf and have to refer to the book and its ‘interpretations’. please say more stoopid things kiddo…

      • Scooter McGavin

        Mar 16, 2022 at 1:54 pm

        These players are literally at the very pinnacle of their field – the absolute best in the world, playing for millions of dollars each week. The stakes, opportunities, and level of competition are the absolute highest for them. Yes, I agree some rules are dumb (like this one), but if anyone is going to take the effort to be completely knowledgeable with the rules, it should be these guys. Them, on top of that, they have the luxury of having rules officials at their events to advise on these things for when they are not 100% certain. Seems like Keegan didn’t take advantage of that either.

      • El Culebra es your daddy

        Mar 17, 2022 at 3:40 pm

        Learn how to write. I’m sure you are one of those dumba$$es who cheats and don’t know the rules.

  12. Bob

    Mar 15, 2022 at 12:59 pm

    Keegan with both feet in his mouth. Learn the rules of your trade, child.

  13. Mike Vogler

    Mar 15, 2022 at 11:40 am

    I agree with the points made in this article, just wanted to point out that Bradley finished solo 5th, not T9.

  14. Pingback: ‘It’s a wrong drop. You’re wrong.’ – Daniel Berger involved in tense exchange with playing partners over penalty drop – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia’s personal relationship has reportedly turned toxic

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In 2014 Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia were the so-called ‘dream team’ of the Ryder Cup.

The pair totted up a combined total of 5-and-a-half points of the 16-and-a-half won by the victorious European team, beating the pairing of Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan in the second day foursomes before both winning their singles.

Their relationship was so solid that McIlroy was honored to be an usher at Garcia’s wedding in 2017, but recently it’s all gone sour, with Golf Monthly reporting a “complete deterioration” of the relationship.

A week ago, it was widley reported that the Spaniard had told his Northern Irish friend that they were now “finally getting paid what we deserve,” a comment that received the reply, “Sergio. We’re golfers. We don’t deserve to be paid anything.”

According to Golf Monthly, the relationship has now “turned personal,” with the world number three unhappy that his old friend has dedicated himself to the Saudi-backed tour, putting the selection process for the Ryder Cup into confusion. The rhetoric between the two is reported to be “bitter and personal.”

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, as he was hacking out of the rough after a ruling, Garcia was heard muttering, “I can’t wait to leave this tour,” before being confirmed as one of the initial participants of the LIV Golf Series.

Whilst it is unclear exactly what the sanctions are with regards to the Ryder Cup 2023, the way the PGA and DP Tours are moving, there is a distinct possibility that LIV players will be seriously affected – though Garcia has made clear that he wants to be a part of it.

At a press conference before the inaugural LIV event at the Centurion Club, Garcia stated, “I haven’t resigned from the European Tour because I would like to still be a member. I’m European, I love the European Tour. I played it for 23 years. Obviously we’re going to have to wait and see what the European Tour does. But I definitely would like to keep my membership and get my chance to make the Ryder Cup team because I love that event. But we’ll wait and see what happens over there.”

Whilst recent LIV press conferences on site have caused their own controversy, Garcia has prompted his own backlash.

After reportedly delivering an anti-DP World Tour rant at the BMW International in Germany last week, Golf Monthly reports that one tour player commented:

“They (LIV players) all think they are untouchable, and they all think the tours can’t do anything. I think they’re all about to realize they’re wrong. It is short sighted to think regulations can’t change and that there isn’t a lot of ill-feeling towards them. I think they’ve miscalculated quite dramatically.

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19th Hole

‘You like apples?’ – Greg Norman takes bullish shot at PGA Tour over LIV poll numbers

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CEO of LIV Golf and former superstar Greg Norman took a shot at the PGA Tour via social media on Wednesday.

Sports Illustrated “Morning Read” shared a Harris Poll that indicated younger U.S. golf fans are open to the LIV Golf series despite its controversial source of funding.

Norman commented on social media with a link to the poll while tagging the PGA Tour’s official accounts, saying, “@pgatour you like apples??”

The line is, of course, in reference to a scene in the 1997 classic film Good Will Hunting, and Norman then doubled down on his bullish aim at the tour with a gif of one of follow up lines from Matt Damon’s character:

The results of the Harris Poll were extremely interesting.

According to Sports Illustrated, “Younger Americans are more aware of, more interested in and more open to the LIV tour, according to our polling — and the split is sharp. So while 40% of those 45 years old and younger are familiar with LIV, as opposed to 35% of the overall population, that figure falls to 27% among those aged 55 and over. And while 55% of U.S. adults familiar with the league plan to watch an LIV event, that number rises to more than 7 in 10 (71%) among those aged 18-34.”

The source of the funding for LIV has generated vigorous debate in recent months. The poll results indicated that younger golf fans aren’t as concerned with the Saudi money as the older generation. Among those aware that LIV Golf is funded by foreign government investments, a majority (52%) of those 45 and younger have no issues the arrangement, while those aged 55 and older report far more often that they disapprove.

There were plenty of other interesting results from the polling.

  • Those aware of LIV Golf’s funding sources are nearly evenly split about it (35% oppose the relationship while 36% support it).
  • By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, Americans say that professional sports funders’ identities have no bearing on whether or not they watch. “In much the same way that sports fans are able to keep rooting for their team even if individual players have personal issues, it seems that they are willing to suspend judgment about a league even if its sponsors have poor reputations. This leaves open the question, however, of how potent attempts at “sportswashing” could be: If consumers are able to separate sporting events from their sponsors, it could run the other way, with leagues not transferring their positive reputations back to their funders.”
  • Among golf fans aware of the PGA Tour’s suspensions, 45% support the decision.

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19th Hole

‘Bye Bye Cheat!’ – Tour pro blocked on Twitter by Patrick Reed after shovel jibe

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@PReedGolf – probably the cause of more ‘blocks’ on Twitter golf than any other is at it again.

As one of the more recent recruits to the LIV Golf Series, Reed has once again opened himself up to criticism, a factor of his career for many years.

On this occasion, Reed tweeted an offer for tickets to this week’s second LIV event in Portland, an offer that was re-tweeted by DP World Tour pro Mike Lorenzo-Vera with the comment, “Does this code works if I want to buy a shovel ???”

The comment refers to an incident at the 2019 Hero World Challenge when Reed was accused of brushing away sand from behind his ball in a bunker, and didn’t go down well with those that run the former Masters champion’s Twitter – they blocked him.

The move didn’t bother Lorenzo-Vera. He went straight back with, “Well… that was fast! Bye bye cheat!”

Support was there. Popular on-line commentator group ByTheMinute (Non LIV) Golf said, “Love this MLV but everyone else is blocked already,” but one respondent took the opportunity to cast doubt on the new PGA/DP Tour alliance by accusing, ” Have some self respect instead rather than praising a decision to iron out the fact the Euro Tour will be now on par with the Korn Ferry.” Ouch.

Most recently, a press conference held at Pumpkin Ridge saw Reed, Brooks Koepka and Pat Perez face a barrage of awkward questions from reporters, and the answers given certainly have received little approval. The irony, of course, being that Koepka was quite happy to accuse his fellow LIV player of cheating at that event in 2019.

The LIV Golf Invitational Portland starts tomorrow and Reed plays with Perez, Talor Gooch and Dustin Johnson as the ‘4 Aces GC’ team, whilst Koepka captains ‘Smash GC’, comprising his brother Chase and DP World Tour winners Richard Bland and Adrian Otaegui.

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