Golf to ignore the rule officials watching at home on TV

Lawrence Cooper
December 13, 2017

In April, Lexi Thompson was penalized four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round.

The new protocols and Local Rule are the latest measures announced by the USGA and The R&A to address concerns related to video evidence. "The governing bodies - in conjunction with the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America - agreed to assign at least one rules official to monitor all tournament telecasts and resolve any rules issues". Thompson was left in tears by the controversy and eventually lost in a playoff.

This rule was extremely hated by players in all of the major golf tournaments as they felt that it was unfair given that not all players receive equal broadcast coverage, therefore making the more visible players far more apt to be slapped with a rules violation.

In a message posted on her official Twitter account, Thompson wrote: "I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf".

Players no longer will be penalized two shots for an incorrect scorecard if they were not aware of a rules violation when they signed their card.

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That will see an additional two-stroke punishment for failing to include a penalty on their scorecard being eliminated in the interim before being permanently removed when the modernised Rules of Golf take effect on 1 January, 2019.

"In my case, I am thankful that no-one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in future", she added.Thompson's case triggered an outcry from professional golfers, with Tiger Woods and others lining up to condemn the influence of television viewers.

That a rule banning calls or emails from off-the-premises during golf tournament was even necessary is a little sad.

The group was formed to look at the role video footage can play when applying the Rules, including the issues that arise from viewer call-ins.

"We have concluded that whilst players should continue to be penalised for all breaches of the Rules during a competition, including any that come to light after the scorecard is returned, an additional penalty for the scorecard error is not required".

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