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Rules of Golf updated to disregard armchair rules experts

11 December, 2017, 18:10 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Armchair referees banned

While Thompson was playing in the final round the next day - and leading the tournament - officials informed her that she would be hit with a four-stroke penalty, two for the original violation and two more for signing an incorrect scorecard.

The R&A and the USGA, working alongside the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour and The PGA of America, decided on a number of new measures to follow from January 1.

The golf governing bodies announced Monday that beginning January 1, such information will not be considered in administering the rules of golf, according to a joint announcement made by the United States Golf Association and R&A.

According to the Associated Press, the USGA and R&A ruled that only video from the telecast of a tournament can be used as evidence of a violation.

"Have confidence in us running the event", said Thomas Pagel, USGA senior director of rules and amateur status.

A viewer emailed rules officials about the possible infraction, which occurred during the third round but was not verified until the final round.

Additionally, players who inadvertently sign for the wrong score when they are unaware of a penalty will no longer be punished.

A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is now underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on January 1, 2019.

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"There was just a level of controversy that was not good for the game", Pagel said of the Thompson flap.

Under the new rules, Thompson would be assessed a two-stroke penalty at the most, if a rules official had caught violation on the green when she placed her ball about a quarter-inch away from her mark.

During a playoff at the 2016 U.S. Women's Open, Anna Nordqvist suffered a two-stroke penalty after video replays showed her dislodging near-microscopic amounts of sand with her backswing in a fairway bunker.

A working group led by the R&A and the USGA has unanimously agreed to adopt a new set of protocols for video review when applying the Rules of Golf.

David Rickman, the R&A's executive director for governance, added: "This has clearly become an important issue in the sport that we felt we should address at this stage ahead of the implementation of the updated Rules of Golf in 2019".

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan said he was pleased with the rule change and the speed with which it was adopted.

The viewer call-in issue has been a hot topic in the game for years. "To me, there were certain cases where the rules, when written, probably didn't ascertain 700 times the naked eye of super slow-mo".


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