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

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5 minutes ago, NCGolfer said:

Do I need to run to mark the ball for fear of penalty?

No because the penalty isn't enforced :-P

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3 hours ago, phillyk said:

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.

Brandel and Mark Rolfing were saying it was absolutely a penalty, and then as you say the Morning Drive people went the other way.

There are two questions I'd have liked to have asked the people on Morning Drive:

  • If this had been a major, and AJ and AO were tied (or AO was ahead by one), would AJ have marked? Insisted on marking?
  • If this had been match play at anything, but particularly at the Solheim Cup (not that AJ can play in it), would they have marked?

The answer to both is "AJ would have insisted on marking." And the reason? Because it could reasonably provide assistance.

2 hours ago, NCGolfer said:

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?

And yet… if the person 100 yards away says "hey, wait up, I'm going to mark that" then the person green side has to wait.

Or, hell, if a fellow competitor says "hey, mark that…" the person has to mark it.

You can't wait around forever, but you should take a reasonable time and go mark it.

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18 hours ago, iacas said:

And yet… if the person 100 yards away says "hey, wait up, I'm going to mark that" then the person green side has to wait.

Or, hell, if a fellow competitor says "hey, mark that…" the person has to mark it.

You can't wait around forever, but you should take a reasonable time and go mark it.

Agreed on all counts.  My problem is that this isn't black and white...subjective to a "reasonable" amount of time.  There could be many scenarios where one official might call a penalty and another would not.

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Olson said, ‘there was no collusion as there was no advantage in Jutanagarn leaving her ball there...’ Yet that’s exactly what happened. Olson is lying. Period. She took the classic approach to using social media by claiming victim status for those accusing her. 100% BS and she knows it. 

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51 minutes ago, NCGolfer said:

Agreed on all counts.  My problem is that this isn't black and white...subjective to a "reasonable" amount of time.  There could be many scenarios where one official might call a penalty and another would not.

My point was not about officials but how players can do it even if they're 100 yards away.

Ultimately the Rules of Golf should only rely on officials to interpret, not to enforce, but unfortunately we're going the way of the latter at a higher rate than I'd prefer.

8 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Olson said, ‘there was no collusion as there was no advantage in Jutanagarn leaving her ball there...’ Yet that’s exactly what happened. Olson is lying. Period. She took the classic approach to using social media by claiming victim status for those accusing her. 100% BS and she knows it. 

Right, there was collusion. Ariya was going to mark and was waved off, and then didn't insist.

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I just saw this on golf.com. If the rules of golf do not penalize these two players then they might as well just toss this rule out and allow backstopping. These two players did everything short of just verbalizing their intent. Ariya is headed to mark and comes to an emphasized stop after asking  Amy if she should mark. Amy TELLS her not to mark, then takes another practice swing, looks over the shot and doesn't actually even play her shot for another 15 seconds. Plenty of time for Ariya to mark her ball. 

This was absolutely a breach of the rules, they absolutely knew what they were doing. I cannot believe the LPGA allowed them to get away with this. I would be furious if I had finished tied with Amy Olson or even worse had she beaten me by a shot.

Edited by NM Golf

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One thing - the fist bump mean NOTHING. something happened, they bumped fists.  So what - there can be a million reasons to bump.  Amy also appears to have put her hands together and bow slightly - a Thai courtesy.  Also could happen in the context of an agreement or accident.  Other than letting mind readers feel outraged.  Sticking to the facts and the portion of the timeline that matters -

38 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Ariya is headed to mark and comes to an emphasized stop after asking  Amy if she should mark. Amy TELLS her not to mark, then takes another practice swing, looks over the shot and doesn't actually even play her shot for another 15 seconds. Plenty of time for Ariya to mark her ball.

If one wants to take cues to see if they intended the backstopping - What matters is what happens prior to the strike.  Now those actions seemed (strongly IMO) to indicate a broken rule. NM Golf here verbalized the critical parts perfectly here (once you strip the conclusions away) by stating the evidence indicating a pre-agreement and not mentioning the stuff AFTER the breach which doesn't matter in any way. - [[(turning the volume all the way up, I can't get any vocal dialogue at all, nor can I read lips, so the "ask" and "TELL" statements are inference - though I believe it, it would be false to claim it directly)}}

If it's on the recording with a verbal statement NOT to mark - it still matters to the intent "don't mark it, I'm ready now" is completely different than "don't mark it, it's downhill and might get fast".  

That's why intent is so crappy to put in rules.  Mind readers fall into a wide range of skepticism to trust anyones interpretations.

Edited by rehmwa

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Question about the rules citation here. Rule 22-1 is in the old rule book. Rule 22 in the new rule book, according the the USGA web site, is about Foursomes competition. (Unless I'm missing something.) Is the 2019 rule book a complete re-write? If so, where is the Rule 22-1 equivalent? I'm really stumped.

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1 minute ago, The Recreational Golfer said:

Question about the rules citation here. Rule 22-1 is in the old rule book. Rule 22 in the new rule book, according the the USGA web site, is about Foursomes competition. (Unless I'm missing something.) Is the 2019 rule book a complete re-write? If so, where is the Rule 22-1 equivalent? I'm really stumped.

Its Rule 15.3 now.  Ball or Ball Marker Helping or Interfering with Play.

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2 minutes ago, The Recreational Golfer said:

Question about the rules citation here. Rule 22-1 is in the old rule book. Rule 22 in the new rule book, according the the USGA web site, is about Foursomes competition. (Unless I'm missing something.) Is the 2019 rule book a complete re-write? If so, where is the Rule 22-1 equivalent? I'm really stumped.

See Rule 15.3a/1 

Edit - @DaveP043 beat me by 30 seconds :beer:

Edited by klineka

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On 2/26/2019 at 1:43 PM, rehmwa said:

the fist bump mean NOTHING. something happened, they bumped fists.  So what - there can be a million reasons to bump. 

What happened? And yes, there are many reasons to fist bump. One of them is when two people are congratulating one another or in a celebration. You can’t pretend that the actions of the players along with the activity taking place are impossible to assess as we can’t mind read. We’re not simple apes numb to human interactions and intent is not always a mystery. You know very well Olson and Juntanagarn knew exactly what they did. They weren’t fist bumping to celebrate their  successful means of keeping pace of play. They weren’t thinking ‘Wow! There’s nooo waaay your ball was even close to my line...can’t believe I hit it and it helped!’ Olson brought up her family, reputation...blah blah all to turn the tables and claim victim status so anyone calling her out is shaming her. BS. All of it. They breached a rule and got away with it. Period.

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You know, I always mark and tell my playing partners to wait until I do. I'll ask someone to mark if their ball is in or near my line of fire. That's just how golf is played. If I have to chip or putt toward an "unprotected" hole, they should too, and vice versa.

As for what the pros, do or don't do, I could care less.

Maybe the problem could go away if Rule 11.1a read:

If your ball in motion hits another ball at rest on the putting green and both balls were your ball was on the putting green or within 30 feet of the putting green before your stroke, you get the general penalty (two penalty strokes).

 

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9 minutes ago, The Recreational Golfer said:

You know, I always mark and tell my playing partners to wait until I do. I'll ask someone to mark if their ball is in or near my line of fire. That's just how golf is played. If I have to chip or putt toward an "unprotected" hole, they should too, and vice versa.

As for what the pros, do or don't do, I could care less.

Maybe the problem could go away if Rule 11.1a read:

If your ball in motion hits another ball at rest on the putting green and both balls were your ball was on the putting green or within 30 feet of the putting green before your stroke, you get the general penalty (two penalty strokes).

Players should just honor 15.3.

If a player shanks one and it hits another ball, they’d have to measure 30 feet now? Why?

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Bear with me here please. A question. At what distance to the green does this 'backstopping' become suspect? I understand actual agreements on both parties to leave a ball in place can result in a breach of the rule, but we've seen instances where we are calling players out (such as the Tony Finau incident). A player is green side and plays a shot where his ball is say 3 ft by the pin and the other player has a green side bunker shot and the ball is left there and it looks awfully suspect backstopping is occurring as it would only take a matter of seconds to mark the ball. If one player is 150yds out, strikes his ball next to the hole and the next player is 90yds out and the ball is just behind the hole and he plays his shot (not expecting the other player to walk the 150yds to mark his ball) we wouldn't suspect backstopping. So at what distance does this become an issue? Does this make sense?

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9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Bear with me here please. A question. At what distance to the green does this 'backstopping' become suspect? I understand actual agreements on both parties to leave a ball in place can result in a breach of the rule, but we've seen instances where we are calling players out (such as the Tony Finau incident). A player is green side and plays a shot where his ball is say 3 ft by the pin and the other player has a green side bunker shot and the ball is left there and it looks awfully suspect backstopping is occurring as it would only take a matter of seconds to mark the ball. If one player is 150yds out, strikes his ball next to the hole and the next player is 90yds out and the ball is just behind the hole and he plays his shot (not expecting the other player to walk the 150yds to mark his ball) we wouldn't suspect backstopping. So at what distance does this become an issue? Does this make sense?

Look, it's pretty clear - as clear as something that requires "reasonable judgment" of a human being can get, anyway.

  • At any point in time, any player in the field can request any ball that they feel may be in a position to assist to be marked and lifted. Players must comply. Had Michelle Wie requested AJ mark her ball, or someone coming out of the scoring trailer done so, AJ would have had to mark her ball.
  • Players should mark their balls to "protect the field" when they deem it "reasonable" that a ball may assist or help another player. This includes not only the proximity of the ball to the hole but the odds that the player will hit the ball in the area noted. If there's a bowl that feeds balls to the hole, the range might be larger than normal, because the "reasonable" target that must be hit is larger.

Ultimately the second point - and the first, as nobody's going to request it from 150/90 yards unless there's some weird bizarre circumstances - hinges on what the players feel is reasonable, both to not delay play and far, far more importantly the odds that the ball could actually help. Not the odds that it will - the odds of hitting a golf ball from even 20 yards away are pretty small - but the odds that it could be hit are pretty high given the skill level of the player and the area in which they're aiming to hit the ball.

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35 minutes ago, iacas said:

as clear as something that requires "reasonable judgment"

I guess this is where I see confusion occurring. It’s unfortunate. I certainly think it’s reasonable as many others do to believe Olson and Jutanagarn breached the rule. This is based on the situation that occurred and their actions/behavior during/following it. Yet so many people out there (Twitter) defending them claiming there’s ‘no way it’s a breach of said rule.’ You’re right on it being clear but it apparently gets murky as this situation isn’t rare as we’ve seen.

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20 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I certainly think it’s reasonable as many others do to believe Olson and Jutanagarn breached the rule.

As does virtually every rules official I know.

20 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Yet so many people out there (Twitter) defending them claiming there’s ‘no way it’s a breach of said rule.’

Who f***ing cares about Twitter? Half the responses I saw saying "no penalty" or "that's a stupid rule" also said things like "if she could aim at and hit a ball why not just aim at the hole?" - Completely missing the f***ing point and using bad logic to do it.

20 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

You’re right on it being clear but it apparently gets murky as this situation isn’t rare as we’ve seen.

I wouldn't say it got "murky" - I would say the LPGA Tour botched it.

That or I'm just completely wrong and that you can just make up a reason and so long as you don't say "to help her or him" then you get away with it.


Another version of "reasonable" would be "if the players were in match play, would anyone suggest/insist that they mark their ball."

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