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

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Yeah I saw this on the replay today that aired during the afternoon - one of the commenters said "the game has changed"

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2 hours ago, colin007 said:

Yeah I saw this on the replay today that aired during the afternoon - one of the commenters said "the game has changed"

If I can't find the replay I'd sure like to see (witness) this...and so should @Fourputt!

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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 2:45 PM, iacas said:

But the PGA Tour should do the right thing here, send a memo to all PGA Tour players informing them of the rule as written, and tell them that the referees have been told to enforce the rule, and that players found more than twice in a season not protecting the field will face a possible supplemental fine or something.

 

Bingo. The tour could clean this stuff up in a single written communication, if they were so inclined. And it's baffling to me that they haven't. 

For whatever reason, this type of behavior has become normalized on the tour and nobody wants to step out of line for fear of being seen as the bad guy to their peers.

The tour has a greater obligation to the game than any one player. It's strange they essentially looked the other way on this.

On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 2:45 PM, iacas said:

and that players found more than twice in a season not protecting the field will face a possible supplemental fine or something.

More than twice? As in 3 or more times? Seems awfully generous. As much as we have seen this stuff go on over the past few years, I don't remember any repeat offenders as of yet. If you want to really change behaviors, make it zero tolerance - one instance and bam, you're fined.

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4 minutes ago, Big C said:

More than twice? As in 3 or more times? Seems awfully generous. As much as we have seen this stuff go on over the past few years, I don't remember any repeat offenders as of yet. If you want to really change behaviors, make it zero tolerance - one instance and bam, you're fined.

There's a lot you don't see on TV, and once or twice I could see the player having a legit claim that maybe they were too far away or didn't think that it could assist, and then the players would have insight into how broad the thing is.

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I don't know. Much like the NFL has the license to decide which hits are deserving of a fine and which ones are not, I think the PGA could adopt similar discretion in the application of their fines. It's pretty black and white in the Stenson example above. 

In the Kokrak example, I could see him getting away with just a warning. But I think if you really want to put an end to this stuff, you have to punish the most egregious examples the moment they happen. 

 

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I think this latest example is a good reason why I don’t get too worked up about this and I think it’s sort of “proof” that they’re not doing it to collide, but rather are just being half lazy and half playing the odds that nothing is going to happen.

Stenson was a couple shots off the lead and left his ball there to potentially help the guy he was chasing - he’s obviously not going to collude against himself.

I actually did this a couple of times at the Newport Cup too, and I certainly wasn’t wanting my opponent to hit my ball - I just didn’t want to bother to stop them and figured the chances were plenty high that nothing would happen.

I’d compare it to distracted driving.  Everybody who does it knows it’s stupid but also figures that they’ll beat the odds.

(All of that said, I would be fine with them implementing measures to curb it, because it probably shouldn’t be done, but I’m just currently thinking Its likely not nefarious.)

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8 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

I think this latest example is a good reason why I don’t get too worked up about this and I think it’s sort of “proof” that they’re not doing it to collide, but rather are just being half lazy and half playing the odds that nothing is going to happen.

I see it as them having a bit of an obligation to protect the field, laziness be damned.

I think most all of these balls would have been marked if this were taking place in the Ryder Cup.

8 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Stenson was a couple shots off the lead and left his ball there to potentially help the guy he was chasing - he’s obviously not going to collude against himself.

I don't think there's anything obvious about that.

If the social penalty outweighs the slim chances of a significantly outweighing financial/prestige gain, I could see leaving the ball there.

8 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

I actually did this a couple of times at the Newport Cup too, and I certainly wasn’t wanting my opponent to hit my ball - I just didn’t want to bother to stop them and figured the chances were plenty high that nothing would happen.

The calculus is different, too, when you're talking about a six handicapper versus a PGA Tour player. Better players get their balls nearer to the hole more often, and thus the odds of them being assisted by another ball increase.

And that's match play. You're under no real obligation to protect "the field." Only your interests and, by extension, your team's interests.

8 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

(All of that said, I would be fine with them implementing measures to curb it, because it probably shouldn’t be done, but I’m just currently thinking Its likely not nefarious.)

I think negligent is a better word, with a dash of perhaps unstated collusion. A growingly pervasive "understanding." I don't think it's done in a nefarious way.

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47 minutes ago, iacas said:

A growingly pervasive "understanding."

That right that would be the best descriptor I could imagine

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On 10/29/2017 at 7:42 PM, Missouri Swede said:

More of this today in the final round of the WGC-HSBC in Shanghai.  On the 15th hole hole, Stenson had pitched from greenside to within a couple feet of the pin.  Koepka and DJ both had shots from greenside bunkers to make, and Stenson didn't mark his ball.  Announcers even commented on it. 

Neither of them hit Stenson's ball, but it could have affected the outcome, particularly since these guys (and Justin Rose) were all at the top of the leaderboard.

Similar situation at the 17th hole.  Stenson pitched onto the green to within a few feet, doesn't mark his ball, and then DJ with a shot from a greenside bunker.

 

On 10/29/2017 at 8:04 PM, iacas said:

Do you have video of this?

15th hole:

17th hole:

 

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