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Scottish golfer Saltman suspended for improper marking...


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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Scottish golfer Elliot Saltman has been banned for three months by the European Tour for marking his ball incorrectly during an event last year.

A statement released by the tour on Wednesday said Saltman "committed a serious breach" of regulations and was suspended from all European Tour and Challenge Tour-sanctioned tournaments with immediate effect.

The incident happened during the first round of the Russian Challenge Cup on Sept. 16 last year. The 28-year-old Saltman was disqualified from the event and attended a disciplinary hearing in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Sweden's Johan Tumba was the last professional to be expelled from the tour; banned for 10 years in 1992 for altering his scorecard.

Apparently he marked his ball at the 8 o'clock position. Then he placed it at the 6 o'clock position.

He says he didn't do it, but I mean even if it was a simple error or mental lapse.. Is it worth a 3 month ban? Honestly? He already got kicked out of the tourney and accused of cheating. If he says he didn't do it, and it was a simple error or lapse of mentality/judgement at that very moment, shouldn't he be given the benefit of the doubt?

I mean 3 months is a pretty harsh ban for the ball being moved less than an inch in one direction.. Ridiculous.

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He could've been thinking about the putt, had a bad morning, fight with significant other running through his head, mishit on previous hole bothering him.. I mean you know just as well as the rest, it's a mental game. I mean jeez, it was a MINOR move in ball placement. Do you HONESTLY think that it gave me THAT much of an advantage? These rule things are getting RIDICULOUS. Players getting tossed from tourneys of stupid stuff. Look at DJ last year.. Honestly?!? A lot of this is getting to the point where players are more worried about Rule 12512 part b/c dash 6 part 4...

Just getting tired of stupid DQ stuff. I think it's time to re-visit some rules and regualtions.

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He's lucky to get only three months. A fairly prominent South African pro was caught doing the same thing back in 1981 and banned from all tournament golf for two years. I've heard -- in that case -- that word got around on tour about this guy's apparent difficulty in remembering exactly where he'd marked his ball. Finally the other players had enough and decided to keep an eye out for a particularly clear instance to report. I would be very surprised if the Saltman thing wasn't a similar story, as it's hard to believe that other pros would be petty enough to make a disciplinary case out of a single occurrence -- which could, as already pointed out, easily be an honest mistake.

Pure speculation of course.

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Originally Posted by Stretch

He's lucky to get only three months. A fairly prominent South African pro was caught doing the same thing back in 1981 and banned from all tournament golf for two years. I've heard -- in that case -- that word got around on tour about this guy's apparent difficulty in remembering exactly where he'd marked his ball. Finally the other players had enough and decided to keep an eye out for a particularly clear instance to report. I would be very surprised if the Saltman thing wasn't a similar story, as it's hard to believe that other pros would be petty enough to make a disciplinary case out of a single occurrence -- which could, as already pointed out, easily be an honest mistake.


This.

There's quite likely a long history here... I doubt a decision like this was based off one incident.

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About four years ago I was playing in this weekly match play event at a local club here.  One week my teammate and I were playing the head pro of the course and we caught him replacing his ball on the green incorrectly.  He originally placed his ball marker in front of the ball to give the illusion that his ball was closer to the hole than it actually was (I assume trying to get us to give him the put).  However when he replaced his ball, he put the ball in front of the marker ultimately moving his ball closer to the hole.  We didn't say anything right away, he missed the putt to lose the hole and ultimately the match on the next hole.  I lost all respect for him that night as he was whining that we weren't giving him short putts that he was missing.  Now I don't know if he did it on purpose, or was just flustered and wasn't thinking about how he marked the ball, but it does happen and if it's something that is a regular occurrence they should be disciplined.   The fact of the matter is that they are "professionals".  They do this for a living, as tough as a game golf is, marking your ball is a relatively easy thing to do...no excuses.

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There's a full page article about questionable actions in the January 17&24 GolfWorld magazine, in which the Saltman case is the lead example.

"While competing with Saltman at last September's M2M Russian Challenge Cup, a European Challenge Tour event, Marcus Higley and Stuart Davis each accused him of repeatedly marking his ball in an irregular fashion."

The article went on to say a meeting with ET officials would be held this month at which the charges would be discussed. I guess they got discussed.

The article also notes that "last year on the European Tour more than one professional refused to sign a fellow competitor's scorecard because he felt his playing companion had knowingly broken a rule during the round. Nothing came of the charges; the cards in question were eventually 'attested' by tour officials."

Quotes found on page 66 of the magazine.

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Originally Posted by tsdnorton

He could've been thinking about the putt, had a bad morning, fight with significant other running through his head, mishit on previous hole bothering him.. I mean you know just as well as the rest, it's a mental game. I mean jeez, it was a MINOR move in ball placement. Do you HONESTLY think that it gave me THAT much of an advantage? These rule things are getting RIDICULOUS. Players getting tossed from tourneys of stupid stuff. Look at DJ last year.. Honestly?!? A lot of this is getting to the point where players are more worried about Rule 12512 part b/c dash 6 part 4...

Just getting tired of stupid DQ stuff. I think it's time to re-visit some rules and regualtions.

Dustin Johnson wasn't disqualified for his error, just given his rightful penalty strokes for grounding his club in a bunker.  The rule certainly wasn't ridiculous on that occasion, only his (and his caddy's) inability to read a rule sheet.

And, as far as re-marking a ball not being an advantage, if the ball settles into a depression like a spike mark, it certainly would help to move it out of there.  My guess is that Saltman had been creatively marking his ball(s) to ensure he didn't have to putt from those depressions, and others had had enough of it.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stretch

He's lucky to get only three months. A fairly prominent South African pro was caught doing the same thing back in 1981 and banned from all tournament golf for two years. I've heard -- in that case -- that word got around on tour about this guy's apparent difficulty in remembering exactly where he'd marked his ball. Finally the other players had enough and decided to keep an eye out for a particularly clear instance to report. I would be very surprised if the Saltman thing wasn't a similar story, as it's hard to believe that other pros would be petty enough to make a disciplinary case out of a single occurrence -- which could, as already pointed out, easily be an honest mistake.

This.

There's quite likely a long history here... I doubt a decision like this was based off one incident.

The article I read said that he did it at least a half dozen times during the tournament.  Very odd behavior for a professional golfer.

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Originally Posted by tsdnorton

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Scottish golfer Elliot Saltman has been banned for three months by the European Tour for marking his ball incorrectly during an event last year.

A statement released by the tour on Wednesday said Saltman "committed a serious breach" of regulations and was suspended from all European Tour and Challenge Tour-sanctioned tournaments with immediate effect.

The incident happened during the first round of the Russian Challenge Cup on Sept. 16 last year. The 28-year-old Saltman was disqualified from the event and attended a disciplinary hearing in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Sweden's Johan Tumba was the last professional to be expelled from the tour; banned for 10 years in 1992 for altering his scorecard.

Apparently he marked his ball at the 8 o'clock position. Then he placed it at the 6 o'clock position.

He says he didn't do it, but I mean even if it was a simple error or mental lapse.. Is it worth a 3 month ban? Honestly? He already got kicked out of the tourney and accused of cheating. If he says he didn't do it, and it was a simple error or lapse of mentality/judgement at that very moment, shouldn't he be given the benefit of the doubt?

I mean 3 months is a pretty harsh ban for the ball being moved less than an inch in one direction.. Ridiculous.

How do you know that he didn't take a spike mark out of his line by moving the ball like that?  He was told several times by his fellow competitors that he was wrong, but he still did it again after being warned.  They refused to attest his score because of it.  The guy sounds like an idiot to me.  How do you possibly make it onto a professional tour without knowing how to properly mark and replace your ball?

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Originally Posted by iacas

There's quite likely a long history here... I doubt a decision like this was based off one incident.

A trawl through the various comments under "The Scotsman" newspaper's coverage of this story over the past few months certainly supports this interpretation. A whole lot of knives out for this guy, with allegations going way back to junior/amateur days. Could all be bullshit but I'm inclined to think that lots and lots of smoke probably means at least some fire.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tsdnorton

How do you possibly make it onto a professional tour without knowing how to properly mark and replace your ball?

He knows how to mark his ball.  This guy is a cheater, plain and simple.

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I guess I don't understand what happened?  Marked it at 8 o clock and placed it at 6 o clock.....to me it just sounds like he rotated the ball or something so the alignment aid was pointing at the hole, but I know that can't be it...

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Originally Posted by ajschn06

I guess I don't understand what happened?  Marked it at 8 o clock and placed it at 6 o clock.....to me it just sounds like he rotated the ball or something so the alignment aid was pointing at the hole, but I know that can't be it...



Oh wait, did you mean 8 o clock in relation to the hole?  That makes sense, but I can't see how someone would do it and expect to not get penalized?

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I'm all for this if he intentionally improved his putting lie.  Doing it "at least 5 times" shows he doesn't respect the rules all.

It's a harsh ruling but I'm curious if the forum thinks it's fair..?

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