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

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17 hours ago, iacas said:

That's incorrect. A ball a foot right of the hole, or a foot behind and two feet right of the hole, is in a position where it can help. Any competitor in the field can have that ball marked.

Thats fine but I was meaning anything thats not  the general vicinity.

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7 hours ago, Aflighter said:

Thats fine but I was meaning anything thats not  the general vicinity.

This thread is about balls in a position to help.

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Just happened to be watching the GC. Rickie Fowler on the 6th. The announcers are concerned about 'protecting the field'. Again. Players not marking balls. Hmmmmm.....

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17 hours ago, CCC said:

Just happened to be watching the GC. Rickie Fowler on the 6th. The announcers are concerned about 'protecting the field'. Again. Players not marking balls. Hmmmmm.....

Yeah  saw that but its like Faldo said, the other ball was behind pin and wouldve been hard for ball to hit it with flagstick in the way.Apparently its not an issue if theres no rule saying balls must be marked.Afterall everyone has opportunity to play with  ball near hole if they are ready to play.

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I'm happy Azinger commented on it during the U.S. Open.

And sad at most of the responses that Geoff received to his tweet about it.

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Yeah, I remember Zinger saying that. It definitely wasn't the worst example of leaving your ball there, because it was pretty unlikely that JT would have come close to Harman's. But he still should have marked it. It's an unfortunate thing that happens constantly on tour.

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14 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

Yeah, I remember Zinger saying that. It definitely wasn't the worst example of leaving your ball there, because it was pretty unlikely that JT would have come close to Harman's. But he still should have marked it. It's an unfortunate thing that happens constantly on tour.

Really?

The ball was about a foot away from the hole (to the right) and JT was chipping or putting from over a little swale not far off the green with the hole 20 feet away or something.

IIRC.

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11 minutes ago, iacas said:

Really?

The ball was about a foot away from the hole (to the right) and JT was chipping or putting from over a little swale not far off the green with the hole 20 feet away or something.

IIRC.

You're remembering correctly. I remember thinking that I've seen much more egregious instances than that one. I think the angle that JT was having to play at meant Harman's ball was relatively safe from being hit. Harman absolutely should have marked, though.

Here's a picture, after JT hit his chip (I think it was a chip at least):

I believe JT is coming from the left of the screen and that the green breaks to the left as well. I could be wrong about this, though, because my memory isn't perfect. Like I said, I thought Harman should have marked, no question, but that I've seen much worse than this.

Edited by DeadMan

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I thought it was bizarre when it happened, but I didn't think that there could have been malicious (harsher word than I was looking for, but oh well) intent, but Azinger convinced me otherwise. Not a good look for both of them.

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40 minutes ago, jamo said:

I thought it was bizarre when it happened, but I didn't think that there could have been malicious (harsher word than I was looking for, but oh well) intent, but Azinger convinced me otherwise. Not a good look for both of them.

It happens far too often.

Read the extended commentary in the Shackelford tweet for more.

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http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2017/8/12/watch-rickie-leave-his-ball-down-as-a-backstop.html

It's great to hear from readers who reported Jim Nantz joining those critical of backstopping chip shots by not marking a ball before a playing partner plays. His "inexplicable" comment has been preceded on past telecasts by CBS colleagues Peter Kostis, Ian Baker-Finch and Dottie Pepper criticizing the fundamentally strange choice by pro golfers to leave their ball down to slow down a wayward competitor's shot.

As we have learned from defenders of this behavior, players are merely wanting to play as fast as possible. The practice does not take place on weekends of majors or in match play, and rarely in the televised weekend windows. But as it has become more accepted on the PGA Tour, the act has become so normalized that it seeped into weekends and now majors. (Some players do not partake and behind the scenes are branded bad apples because they don't play "the game the right way" or other similar coded nonsense.)

Thanks to Michael Power for this particularly bold example from Rickie Fowler during round three at the 2017 PGA. Since Saturday was a dreadful 5.5 hour round where speed of play was not going to be appreciably improved by taking another 10 seconds to mark a ball before the next shot was played toward the hole, it's tough to write this off as a pace effort.

No, today's players simply like to help their buddies in hopes of receiving similar support for their own wayward chip shots. Mercifully, the Golf Gods are always watching and taking notes.

Still, this one is fascinating to watch because you can see the shot stop rolling and watch Fowler as he determines it's of the helping-not-hurting variety, and turns to watch his playing partner knowing it's a backstopping situation.

 

The number of people who notice this is increasing, and players are now doing it in majors…

Oy.

 

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Wow, that's really not good by Rickie. He starts walking towards the ball to mark and then stops when he realizes he shouldn't mark it (can't tell about the look back in that clip, but it still doesn't look good). Really need to have a crackdown on this. More so when you're in contention at a major!

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This one today was really bad:

Made a pretty big difference:

 

Edited by DeadMan

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1 hour ago, DeadMan said:

This one today was really bad:

Made a pretty big difference:

 

Did you watch it though?  I didnt actually see it but turned it on right after it happened and the way the explained it, it doesn’t deserve to be in this thread.  Finau was supposedly up at his greenside bunker shot waiting for his playing partner who was struggling back in the trees a ways.  Once his partner hit that shot he was already ready to go and his partner was still 70-80 yards away from the green. 

So his partner didn’t leave his ball there for him to hit, Finau played when he was ready which was long before his partner was able to be at the green to mark.  Entirely legit.

(Again, I didn’t actually see it, so it’s hearsay, but announcers described it that way right when I turned the broadcast on)

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6 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Did you watch it though?  I didnt actually see it but turned it on right after it happened and the way the explained it, it doesn’t deserve to be in this thread.  Finau was supposedly up at his greenside bunker shot waiting for his playing partner who was struggling back in the trees a ways.  Once his partner hit that shot he was already ready to go and his partner was still 70-80 yards away from the green. 

So his partner didn’t leave his ball there for him to hit, Finau played when he was ready which was long before his partner was able to be at the green to mark.  Entirely legit.

(Again, I didn’t actually see it, so it’s hearsay, but announcers described it that way right when I turned the broadcast on)

I saw it. The announcers explained it exactly as you've stated. Finau would have had to wait a couple of minutes for the guy to get down to mark. It was referred to as a pace of play issue.

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A player can authorize someone else to mark the ball. Furthermore, anyone in the field can request that the ball be marked.

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If I'm a fellow competitor and I just missed out on $100,000 because of that, I'd be okay with waiting a minute for that ball to be marked. 

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