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PGA Tour Players Not Marking Balls when In Position to Assist Another Player, #Backstopping

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6 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

After seeing the release from the LPGA, it seems that officials ARE going to accept the reasoning I mentioned:

imageproxy.php?img=&key=26b180e008f40bf0

LPGA Statement from LPGA Rules Committee Regarding Amy Olson's stroke onto the 18th green during...

"Rule 15.3a clearly states that for a breach to occur, that two or more players, must agree to leave a ball in place to help any player on her next stroke. This was not the case between Olson and Jutanugarn."

Lol! Of course it wasn’t the case. Player A motions to mark her ball. Player B stops her. Player A motions agree. Player B plays shot which strikes Player A’s ball. Player B smiles and fist pumps Player A. Yeah, not a case of backstopping in the least.

 

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8 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

After seeing the release from the LPGA, it seems that officials ARE going to accept the reasoning I mentioned:

imageproxy.php?img=&key=26b180e008f40bf0

LPGA Statement from LPGA Rules Committee Regarding Amy Olson's stroke onto the 18th green during the second round of the Honda LPGA Thailand: After sp...

"Rule 15.3a clearly states that for a breach to occur, that two or more players, must agree to leave a ball in place to help any player on her next stroke. This was not the case between Olson and Jutanugarn."

Then I see no circumstances under which the tours will ever impose a penalty for breach of this rule. They made it about intent. The rule interpretation uses terms “to help any player” and “in order to use it as a backstop.”

So a player only needs to say “I did it for pace of play,” and she’s off the hook. 

4 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Lol! Of course it wasn’t the case. Player A motions to mark her ball. Player B stops her. Player A motions agree. Player B plays shot which strikes Player A’s ball. Player B smiles and fist pumps Player A. Yeah, not a case of backstopping in the least.

Exactly. Because she said it was for “pace of play.” Using intent as a reason to avoid a rule.

On Morning Drive this morning, there was even some discussion that Fowler’s incorrect drop yesterday shouldn’t have been penalized because it wasn’t his intent to violate the rule and he didn’t gain an advantage by it.

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

After seeing the release from the LPGA, it seems that officials ARE going to accept the reasoning I mentioned:

Yeah. They f***ed it up.

There wasn’t even a pace of play issue. They were waiting on a ruling.

Complete bullshit by the LPGA.

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In my opinion, for the LPGA to penalize these players, they would have had to call them both liars.  They may well be, I don't know for sure, but with a rule that hinges on the reason for the agreement, I don't see any other options.  Last year this would be a penalty (I think it was a DQ), they obviously communicated and agreed to leave the ball there.  

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41 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

In my opinion, for the LPGA to penalize these players, they would have had to call them both liars.  They may well be, I don't know for sure, but with a rule that hinges on the reason for the agreement, I don't see any other options.  Last year this would be a penalty (I think it was a DQ), they obviously communicated and agreed to leave the ball there.  

And then what? They penalize them, effectively calling them liars, and then...? So what? It's not like those ladies are gonna be able to do anything, neither of them is bigger than the game or their tour, they can't really just say "well I'm going to another tour if you penalize me"

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5 hours ago, Missouri Swede said:

They made it about intent

An examination of the circumstances can lead to an inference of intent.  The problem is that officials will not enforce it, not that they cannot prove intent.  Just look at the situation that just happened on the LPGA.  You can easily show intent based upon what transpired even if you cannot show actual intent. 

 

Why do people do this though?  You're helping a competitor.  I just don't get it.  You can be cordial and have a pleasant day at the office, but just play your game and they play theirs.  I don't see any benefit to the one allowing the breach to occur.  I guess maybe the whole, "i scratch your back and you scratch mine" or the return favor deal.

Edited by ncates00

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34 minutes ago, colin007 said:

And then what? They penalize them, effectively calling them liars, and then...? So what? It's not like those ladies are gonna be able to do anything, neither of them is bigger than the game or their tour, they can't really just say "well I'm going to another tour if you penalize me"

Then the ladies would’ve whined it’s not fair they don’t call it on the men..it’s just a mess, the whole situation.

22 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

"i scratch your back and you scratch mine" or the return favor deal

That is how they see it as Walker stated. Their disregarding respect for the field.

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1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Then the ladies would’ve whined it’s not fair they don’t call it on the men..it’s just a mess, the whole situation.

I mean, honestly what they did looks worse than anything the guys have done

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3 hours ago, colin007 said:

I mean, honestly what they did looks worse than anything the guys have done

It does. But the LPGA would never own up to that.

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3 hours ago, colin007 said:

I mean, honestly what they did looks worse than anything the guys have done

It does. But the LPGA would never own up to that.

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On 2/23/2019 at 3:02 PM, DaveP043 said:

In my opinion, for the LPGA to penalize these players, they would have had to call them both liars.  They may well be, I don't know for sure, but with a rule that hinges on the reason for the agreement, I don't see any other options.  Last year this would be a penalty (I think it was a DQ), they obviously communicated and agreed to leave the ball there.  

And it should have done just that.

I continue to disagree that the rule "hinges on the reason for the agreement," because players can't just make up a rule. They said they were doing it for "pace of play" concerns, but they also said they were waiting for a Michelle Wie ruling. So how does waiting 10 seconds for someone to mark make any "pace of play" reasons?

The answer: it doesn't, and the LPGA f***ed this one up. They should have asked both players if they knew that agreeing to leave a ball in place that can help is against the rules. If they said "no," then they each should have gotten two strokes. If they said "yes," they should have both been DQed.

Amy Olson said in her statement that "Obviously with everything that has gone down I think we all (especially me) will be more conscious of it and I will have everyone mark anything remotely close to the hole now."

Uhhh, right, that should have been her position BEFORE hand, had she KNOWN the Rules of Golf.

I understand @DaveP043's point about the language, but was told by the people I know fairly high up in the Rules world that the "to help" doesn't have to be given as the reason; it can be inferred and players can't (direct quote) "make up any old reason they want."

Pace of play in this case is bogus: they were waiting on a Wie ruling, and it would have taken Ariya ten seconds to go mark, during which time Amy Olson could have continued to make some practice swings, etc.

Do I think Amy Olson or Ariya Jutanagarn cheated? No. But they clearly, IMO, breached the Rules. And Amy apparently didn't even KNOW this was a breach, despite being a professional golfer.

On 2/23/2019 at 3:44 PM, DeadMan said:

The bottom line seems to be that this rule will never be enforced. Unless players are dumb enough to agree out loud to help each other. 

I'll be saddened if that's how it shakes out, but now we have instances of both the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour choosing their players over enforcing the actual Rules of Golf.

That saddens me.

On 2/23/2019 at 3:45 PM, colin007 said:

And then what? They penalize them, effectively calling them liars, and then...? So what? It's not like those ladies are gonna be able to do anything, neither of them is bigger than the game or their tour, they can't really just say "well I'm going to another tour if you penalize me"

Right.

They breached the Rules. Amy Olson, apparently, could have just said "well, I learned something new today. I didn't know that was a penalty. Now I do."

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But wouldn’t they just get a pass for being ignorant to the rule? The whole ‘I didn’t know this was a rule.’ ?

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1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

But wouldn’t they just get a pass for being ignorant to the rule? The whole ‘I didn’t know this was a rule.’ ?

It would only change the penalty: 2 strokes if they didn't know (or at least say they didn't know).  DQ if they know.  So it's to the player's advantage to NOT know the rules.  (I think @iacas had a thread about that.)

(The way it's worded makes it sounds like both have to know about the rule for a penalty of DQ. Could one player get a DQ because he/she knew, and the other player 2 strokes because he/she didn't know?)

Quote
15.3a/1 – Breach of Rule for Leaving Helping Ball in Place Does Not Require Knowledge

In stroke play, under Rule 15.3a, if two or more players agree to leave a ball in place on the putting green to help any player, and the stroke is made with  the helping ball left in place, each player who made the agreement gets two penalty strokes. A breach of Rule 15.3a does not depend on whether the players know that such an agreement is not allowed.

For example, in stroke play, before playing from just off the putting green, a player asks another player to leave his or her ball that is near the hole, in order to use it as a backstop. Without knowing this is not allowed, the other player agrees to leave his or her ball by the hole to help the other player. Once the stroke is made with the ball in place, both players get the penalty under Rule 15.3a.

The same outcome would apply if the player whose ball was near the hole offered to leave the ball in play to help the other player, and the other player accepted the offer and then played.

If the players know that they are not allowed to make such an agreement, but still do it, they are both disqualified under Rule 1.3b(1) for deliberately ignoring Rule 15.3a.

 

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1 hour ago, Missouri Swede said:

It would only change the penalty: 2 strokes if they didn't know (or at least say they didn't know).  DQ if they know.  So it's to the player's advantage to NOT know the rules.  (I think @iacas had a thread about that.)

(The way it's worded makes it sounds like both have to know about the rule for a penalty of DQ. Could one player get a DQ because he/she knew, and the other player 2 strokes because he/she didn't know?)

 

So the explanation pretty much..no..exactly describes what Olson and Jutanagarn did. RO should’ve given the penalties then when they ‘lied’ and said they were just keeping pace the official simply should’ve said ‘that’s appreciated but not necessary at this time and you didn’t fist pump congratulating one another for keeping the pace.’ Nonsense.

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16 hours ago, iacas said:

Uhhh, right, that should have been her position BEFORE hand, had she KNOWN the Rules of Golf.

Pace of play in this case is bogus: they were waiting on a Wie ruling, and it would have taken Ariya ten seconds to go mark, during which time Amy Olson could have continued to make some practice swings, etc.

Do I think Amy Olson or Ariya Jutanagarn cheated? No. But they clearly, IMO, breached the Rules. And Amy apparently didn't even KNOW this was a breach, despite being a professional golfer.

On Morning Drive this morning, the table mostly agreed that the ruling was fair and that for pace they should not be given penalties. BS... They sit with their yardage guides or greens books open for far longer than the 10s or so it would take to mark a ball. 

The problem isn't one player vs the other player in the group, it's a player against the field.  It's unfair to the field regardless of intent, and thus should be a penalty.

Paige mentioned talking to other players and they claimed to not even know what backstopping is... It annoys me so much that PROFESSIONAL golfers don't know the rules to the very sport that pays their bills.  They all say this is their job, but they don't want to open the book that explains the limitations and guidelines of that job. 

Mild rant that's slightly off topic but close enough.

Spoiler

Why are we rewarding ignorance?!  One of golf's biggest core values is acting with integrity of which the definition is being honest and having strong morals.  We all see it on TV that players also want to be an example for younger generations to take up the game and say that golf teaches life long lessons and values.  Apparently, it's the value of playing dumb and getting away with it or not reading the directions to the job or assignment they are given.  I understand not all tour players are like this, but it's starting to happen all too often that we see rules infractions caused by players either ignoring rules or simply not knowing that they broke a rule. 

Then we have the recent actions by Sergio and Bryson with damaging the course out of frustration.  Sure they apologized but millions of people are watching.  Kids look up to these players and are watching them behave poorly.  What does that teach?  A fine doesn't mean anything to these guys.  Give them proper punishment to be an example that we hold them to higher behavioral standards.  (my superintendent said a good punishment might be to keep them out of majors or at least Augusta could just not invite them to play in the Masters; that might hit them hard enough).

 

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1 hour ago, phillyk said:

They sit with their yardage guides or greens books open for far longer than the 10s or so it would take to mark a ball. 

This.  I'm sorry but you can't claim pace of play when you sit in the fairway agonizing over five variables and/or take minutes to line up a putt with a green book analyzing slope.

If there is stricter enforcement, I guess there might be a problem evaluating when a person should mark their ball.  What if I hit a 100 yard shot to 2 feet behind the hole and my partner is already lining up his chip from 20 yards away.  Do I need to run to mark the ball for fear of penalty?  What is a reasonable amount of time?

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