Originally Posted by Beachcomber
The penalty called on Stacy Lewis today was pretty lame. I don't know how her Caddy walking into the sand trap, and looking at her lie is considered testing the sand? Seriously, that was one of the more bizarre penalties I've seen called on a golfer in quite some time. And the worst part is that it wasn't even called by a playing partner, or rules official... It was someone watching on TV who called into the LPGA and Golfchannel and complained. Then the officials reviewed the video and called the penalty.
In a late blow, Lewis was robbed of some momentum when she was informed of a potential rules issue as she left the 18th green. Lewis and her caddie, Travis Wilson, marched into a TV truck where they watched a video review that showed Wilson had violated Rule 13-4 by testing the surface of a hazard when he walked into a bunker at the 16th hole.
Instead of a bogey-free 66, Lewis posted a 68.
Wilson ventured into the bunker, apparently to check her lie. Television viewers called both Golf Channel and LPGA rules officials to point out that Wilson appeared to test the surface of the sand. Lewis ended up skulling her shot from that bunker over the 16th green and off a TV tower. She salvaged what she thought was a par, but she would learn differently walking to the scoring tent after her round.
Rules officials informed Lewis that Wilson may have violated Rule 13-4, but they wanted Lewis and Wilson to go to the TV truck to review replays.The replay shows Wilson stepping into the bunker and turning and pivoting in the sand. Curiously, Lewis can be heard wondering aloud about the depth of the sand while he is in there. It was a damning sequence.
“I don’t think Travis went into the bunker to test the sand,” said Sue Witters, LPGA vice president of rules and competition. “I think it was just a reaction.”
I realize there is a thread dedicated to this, but since I'm responding to Beach, I'm choosing to post here. :) I tend to agree with you in a sense. Although, I totally agree with the ruling based on the rule as it exists ... it seems like a silly rule in this case. And, even though its about testing the ground, I tend to think that this was mostly called not because of the actual testing but because of the fact that it was the caddy and not the player. Because, really, is it that different than when the player is taking their stance? In the grand scheme of things, is he learning anything at all that she wouldn't learn when she's walking through the bunker, and especially when she's planting her feet and taking her stance?
On the other hand, I will freely admit that I'm sort of arguing just for the sake of arguing, because, otherwise I'd have to have an alternative option to the rule. But it's such a fine line between allowing what happened yesterday and just allowing players and/or caddies to dance around in the bunker Gangnam Style, I think the rule is fine as-is.
I'll just chalk this up to an unfortunate "lesson learned the hard way" for Lewis, her caddy, and hopefully several other players present and future. (And, yes, I blame Lewis too a little more than the caddy because she summoned him into the bunker) :)
I'll be rooting for her to overcome the penalty today and win ... or hopefully lose by at least 3 shots to the cute-as-a-button Ai Miyazaki. :)
Bright side LPGA: You got us talking a little bit about you today instead of Justin Leonard!!!!
P.S.: Don't even get me started on the whole "good samaritan fan calls the tv network to call the penalty on a player" thing. That stuff should not happen unless I get to call CBS and inform then that Santonio Holmes DID NOT get two feet down in bounds (or some other more personal stuff regarding the Padres that nobody else would remember anyway, because, well, its the Padres)