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19th Hole

PGA Tour chief referee explains decision to penalize Cam Smith before Memphis final round

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After Saturday’s third round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Cameron Smith sat at 11 under, which was just two shots back of the lead held by J.J. Spaun. The Champion Golfer of the Year was tied with Will Zalatoris at the time and looked as if he was going to challenge for a victory. He was even the betting favorite on Saturday night, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

On Sunday morning, things took a peculiar turn. Smith was called in to speak with PGA Tour chief referee, Gary Young. The Australian was assessed a two-shot penalty for playing the ball from the wrong place when playing a shot on the fourth hole of the third round.

According to the PGA Tour, the specific violation was Rule 14.7 on hole No. 4 during the third round as he was operating under Rule 17.1

Young elaborated on the rules violation when speaking to the media.

“We had seen it yesterday on the live broadcast. We had an official that was looking at it, but at that point, just knowing the awkwardness of camera angles and that he was dropping in a really tight area there at No. 4, the geometry of the whole situation, he’s got basically a sliver he’s dropping the ball in.

“We felt very comfortable at that time that he was familiar with the rule, and that it was such a quick view of it that we had, at that time we decided it wasn’t worth following up on.”

Young went on to further discuss the situation: “This is something common that players do every day. After seeing the rebroadcast and seeing it again, we felt that it was pretty close to the line and worth a second look. So we did take a second look at it and sure enough, we felt it was really close to the line, if not touching and possibly on the line. So it was worth asking the player.”

“The rules give the player, as long as the player has shown reasonable judgment in determining whether or not his ball was in or out of the penalty area in this situation with his own naked eye, I thought it was simply going to be a situation where I asked Cam the question and he was going to tell him that he was comfortable that his ball was outside the penalty area.

“When I asked him the question, unfortunately, he said to me, “No, the ball was definitely touching the line.” So at that point there’s no turning back. That was a moment where I know that the player has knowledge that the ball was touching the line, he just simply didn’t understand the rule that it requires the entire ball to be outside of the penalty area and in his relief area. So that was the tough part.”

The timing of the Smith’s penalty raised plenty of questions throughout the golf world. Early last week, it was widely reported that the current number two player in the world was headed to LIV Golf for a deal north of $100 million.

According to Young, Smith accepted the penalty without pushback.

“His answer to me is, “The rules are the rules.” He just accepted the two-stroke penalty, and I told him that we would be applying it to his fourth hole in Round 3 and he very calmly left the office and he’s just going about his business for the day.”

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19 Comments

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  1. Pingback: Cam Smith trying to ‘block out’ LIV speculation as he looks to scoop FedEx Cup prize – GolfWRX

  2. NMBob

    Aug 21, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    its not even the same story he said on tv when round 4 started and they were interviewing him. he left ouot the whole another rules official watched it later and called them and said look at it again and go ask him…

  3. Ned

    Aug 17, 2022 at 5:22 am

    I don’t think any ruling should made other than real time. Either call it when it happens or let it go. Think about it back in the day before all this detail tv coverage they never called a penalty the next day so they are actually the ones changing the rules.

  4. jordy

    Aug 16, 2022 at 5:15 am

    I was up against the ropes not far from here when the drop was taken. Cam dropped the ball and it came to rest about 3 inches outside the hazard line, he went over to his caddy, pulled the wedge from the bag and then whilst up on the edge of the green, the ball rolled back onto the line with 50/50 in hazard/in play. Isn’t he supposed to play it from its new resting position ala: Ricki 2019 waste management?

  5. Donovan

    Aug 15, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    What happened to the agreement that no call-in judgments can be made? The call is complete BS. The PGA is trying to make sure that he doesn’t win the FedEX and become the #1 player in the world before defecting. If he did sign, he shouldn’t have done so until after the FedEx and President’s Cup.

  6. Mike

    Aug 15, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    Simple stuff , Cam owned up , ( unlike many rules transgressors) ball was on the line… but caddy … sack him, he is not under same pressures … he should have all the rules knowledge… it’s a massive part of their job.
    I have seem more caddy errors and inability to call a player out this season than any before.

  7. Rich

    Aug 15, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    DOJ and PGA better not get in their way! Ask Mick, Trump, Smith and such. Watch out man cause you’ll get F*#@ked!

  8. Brady

    Aug 15, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    Where’s his caddie saying, whoa….can’t drop it there? Careless from both and cost him a lot.

  9. Hopp

    Aug 15, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    All the bonesaw tour whiners are out in force, got to LIV where they can make up their own rules. He broke the rules so either he didn’t know them or he was cheating, about like the orange clown.

    • Social Justice Farter

      Aug 15, 2022 at 12:42 pm

      Please quit discriminating against people because of their skin color.

    • Morbid

      Aug 15, 2022 at 2:38 pm

      English much?

  10. Frank

    Aug 15, 2022 at 11:11 am

    Terrible and against the rules. Never wanted Smith to possibly win this tourney or the Fed Ex cup

  11. Roger Morrell

    Aug 15, 2022 at 10:54 am

    Quite simple, they can’t let a guy on LIV win the FedEx cup.

  12. Joe

    Aug 15, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Why you boys still hanging around? Sounds like you’re team LIV so take a hike.

    • Zengolf

      Aug 16, 2022 at 5:39 am

      Whoa, easy on the aggro. Last time I checked this was golfwrx.com not pgatour.com. Perhaps you are the one in the wrong place. Golfwrx a place for all lovers of golf.

  13. Tony Rocket

    Aug 15, 2022 at 8:50 am

    Looks like the PGA is trying their best not to have a LIV player win the FedEx Cup. Complete garbage

  14. Edward Lewis

    Aug 15, 2022 at 8:46 am

    That’s bull****! Gurantee they would have never called this on Rory.

    • Kelly

      Aug 15, 2022 at 12:11 pm

      For sure Edward. The PGA has their skirt in knots over LIV. I find it very amusing that the PGA puts down LIV bound players as being only after the big money. Yet every chance they get that jerk PGA commissioner talks about all the purse increases for next season. So much for the money isn’t everything crap.

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19th Hole

Ian Poulter hits out at Golf Channel analyst in bizarre fashion over LIV logo controversy

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Prior to this week’s BMW PGA Championship at historic Wentworth Club, DP World Tour commissioner Keith Pelley requested that LIV golfers refrain from wearing any “LIV Golf” gear out of respect for the DP World Tour players.

The memo sent to players before the event stated that LIV Golfers: “will not be required to play in the Wednesday Pro-Am and out of respect for our partners, our broadcasters and your fellow competitors, we would kindly ask you to consider not wearing LIV Golf-branded apparel during your participation at Wentworth.”

Ian Poulter, who joined the LIV Golf series on a contract reportedly worth more than $20 million, defied the request and wore his “Majesticks” team logo anyway.

Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard, made note of the logo on the sleeve of Poulter and of the fact that Pelley’s wishes were denied.

“European tour CEO Keith Pelley asked the LIV players in this week’s BMW PGA field to not wear their LIV team gear. Most did not. Ian Poulter did, with the logo of his team on his shirt. “This is a business I own a part of and I have a right to wear it,” he said,’ Hoggard tweeted on Thursday.

Ian Poulter took exception to the tweet, and responded to Hoggard via Twitter.

“Rex, Sorry Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has passed away. And you can’t help yourself and continue to throw pettiness out to the world… Show some RESPECT in these sad times. Give yourself a day off. #RIP Elizabeth. Just for clarification this is not my LIV gear”.

Interestingly, Hoggard’s tweet about Poulter took place roughly 45 minutes before it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had passed away.

Poulter’s tweet has since been deleted.

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19th Hole

Michael Jordan hit J.R. Smith with an almighty barb during a recent golf money game

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Earl Joseph “J.R.” Smith III was one of the great basketball players of his generation, and is now pretty good at golf.

Yet, he ranked behind Michael Jordan on the court, and has now found himself bested on the course, despite his very best efforts.

Smith, a member of the North Carolina A&T golf program, recently did an interview with Complex Sports in which he told the story of teeing it up alongside the Chicago Bulls legend.

The pair were involved in a ‘friendly’ game of Nassau – which creates three individual bets: the front nine, the back nine and the total score.

However, as with many things Jordan, the stakes were higher than just bragging rights

“The first round, we ended up even,” Smith recalls. “In the second round, he smoked me by like three shots.”

Playing with a genuine fan made no difference to MJ – there was still money involved.

“I was like five front, five back and five overall,” Smith said. “He was like, ‘All Right, cool, cool, cool.’ I said, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hundreds, not thousands. Hundreds.”

To top it all, MJ had to have the final word – after all, he was King of trash talk on the court.

And then, to really hit him where it hurts, MJ said the following to Smith.

“I know what you’re talking about. I know what you meant. Yeah, you had a good career. It wasn’t a great one. You had a good one.”

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19th Hole

‘Certain guys I can’t stand being here’ – Shane Lowry blasts ‘disruptive’ LIV pros at Wentworth

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The friction continues to mount in the lead up to the BMW PGA Championship this week at Wentworth Club.

On Wednesday, Shane Lowry become the next golfer in an ever-growing list of PGA TOUR players to criticize the LIV golfers who are playing in the DP World Tour’s most important event.

Among other reasons, the Irishman said that he feels that the LIV players are taking the spotlight away from the event and what’s really important at Wentworth.

“I don’t like it that they are here. I think to be honest, the one thing that has really annoyed me over the last few months is how disruptive they are all trying to be. Obviously, they are here for world ranking points somewhat, but they are here to be disruptive, and I don’t like it. To be honest, if I put myself in those guys’ shoes, would I be here this week? No, it’s too uncomfortable for me. It is what it is. Like I said it’s the BMW PGA Championship, the biggest event in Europe and we would be talking about that, and we are not. It’s disappointing.”

Similar to what both Jon Rahm and Billy Horschel have said this week, Lowry did acknowledge that there are a few LIV golfers who have the right to playing this week. He also made it clear that there were others who he believes shouldn’t be there.

“There’s some of the guys I kind of don’t mind them being here given what they have done for the Tour over the years,” said Lowry. “There are certain guys I just can’t stand them being here to be honest.

While there are plenty of players Lowry will attempt to avoid, he is known as an affable person who doesn’t like to be confrontational.

“Anybody that knows me, I don’t like confrontation or any of that stuff. I’ll say hello and do my thing. That’s the way I’ll be. Obviously, the lads, I’ve known them for years and some of them became quite good friends over the last few years. But obviously I haven’t seen them in a long time now, don’t hang out with them anymore. Probably won’t be going out for dinner because we haven’t seen each other. But yeah, there are certain lads that I shake hands with and certain hands I wouldn’t.”

The LIV Golf story isn’t going away anytime soon, especially with the Ryder Cup set to begin next year. As of now, it seems as if the LIV players won’t be eligible to participate, but Lowry believes they wouldn’t be a good fit for the team even if they could play.

“I can’t see how they are going to make the team, they are going to need a pick,” the former Open Champion said. “I think without those guys, we still have a good team. With all due respect to a lot of those guys over at LIV, I think they know themselves and that’s why they went to LIV, their Ryder Cup days are probably over. Obviously, they are lined up as next captains but there’s not too many of them that would have too many Ryder Cups.”

With Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry having all made strong statements in opposition to the LIV players this week, we could be in store for some real drama over the weekend if the leaderboard cooperates.

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