Monday, 11 July 2016

USGA Strikes Again

Once again, thanks to the bumbling of USGA officials another US Open ends with controversy instead of the sort of excitement the fans and players deserve.  The assessment of the two shot penalty in the playoff thanks to another high definition video review allowed the Open to end with a whimper instead of a bang.

But this was not the only incident where the intervention of an official affected the outcome of the tournament.  Earlier in the final round the final group, with the leader and two other players fighting for the championship, was suddenly put "on the clock."  The leader was then assessed a bad time.  It was incredible.

Suddenly, in arguably golf's most prestigious women's event, we are watching the leaders jogging from  the green to the next tee.  In a situation where controlling your breathing and your heart rate are vital, the leaders are being forced to hurry up. They were all thrown out of their rhythm and each player subsequently lost two shots to par in the process.  It was outrageous.  

Now I'm no rules expert, but as far as I know there is nothing in the rules of golf that states a player must play a shot within a certain timeframe--let alone forty seconds.  This is a rule imposed to make certain the event finishes on time for the sake of television.  Once again it was imposed with no apparent thought as to the consequences it might have on the outcome of the tournament.  

The USGA has once again done itself and the players--not to even mention golf fans--a disservice.  Poor Brittanny--or is it Bethany--Lang finally breaks through and wins a Major.  But unfortunately it will be a win with an asterisk attached thanks to our friends at the USGA.