Sunday, 2 April 2017

Another Rules Fiasco

When is it going to stop? Once again, some armchair rules aficionado was able to contact the LPGA well after the fact and have the leader, Lexi Thompson, assessed a four shot penalty because she didn't mark her ball quite correctly. It was a putt of about a foot.

Why do tour officials feel obligated to entertain these e-mails or phone calls from TV viewers who really need to get a fricken life? I try to imagine the mentality of someone who would want to insert themselves into a tournament in this way. Golf is a game of honour, and a game of rules, but there is are violations and there are violations. In this case the punishment far out-weighed the crime.

In this case this fiasco was the direct result of this incessant marking and aligning of golf balls by tour players on the putting green. There was no need for Lexi to mark and realign the ball for a one-foot putt. And people, especially young golfers, are watching these elaborate routines and doing the same thing, adding to the problem of slow play.

It's interesting to note that Tiger weighed in on this incident, essentially saying that people in their homes should not be wearing referee stripes. Some times golf can be a very stupid game. And this is one of those occasions. Lexi has responded like a true champion as play continues, reeling off two birdies and regaining the lead. But, regardless of the final result, this ridiculous situation has seriously tarnished the tournament--not just for Lexi, but for everyone.