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Fox and the USGA - Changes Coming Due to Coverage of Rules Event?

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8 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

True...and (maybe I'm remembering this wrong), wasn't there a Bubba Watson chip shot where the replay confirmed that it had only "oscillated" and not moved?

The tv might confirm something but my thinking is the outcome wouldn't be different without it.  The player gets the say over an FC on something like that so if bubba says it didn't move then he wouldn't get penalized even if Patrick Reed said it did.

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2 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

The tv might confirm something but my thinking is the outcome wouldn't be different without it.  The player gets the say over an FC on something like that so if bubba says it didn't move then he wouldn't get penalized even if Patrick Reed said it did.

As a RO you have to consider all available evidence. This includes eyewitness accounts, etc. Video is a powerful ally in determining what actually happened.

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2 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

he wouldn't get penalized even if Patrick Reed said it did.

That has nothing to do with the RoG, though...that's just because nobody listens to f**king Patrick Reed.

Just now, iacas said:

As a RO you have to consider all available evidence. This includes eyewitness accounts, etc. Video is a powerful ally in determining what actually happened.

I was actually just going to ask about this - how much weight did they put into Westwood's account?  Do you think it mattered at all?

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1 minute ago, Hardspoon said:

That has nothing to do with the RoG, though...that's just because nobody listens to f**king Patrick Reed.

Lol ... For my example I was debating between him and Poulter. :P

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1 minute ago, Hardspoon said:

I was actually just going to ask about this - how much weight did they put into Westwood's account?  Do you think it mattered at all?

I don't think it mattered much. Certainly not more than the video. That's not really the discussion topic, though, again.

The topic here is really about whether you think the USGA will insist that FOX cover things like this a bit differently. They were screwed at least a little by guys like Zinger and Faxon talking without truly knowing the rules. They got the first word out, and it was incorrect, and that put the USGA in an awkward position by their broadcast "partner."

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

The topic here is really about whether you think the USGA will insist that FOX cover things like this a bit differently. They were screwed at least a little by guys like Zinger and Faxon talking without truly knowing the rules. They got the first word out, and it was incorrect, and that put the USGA in an awkward position by their broadcast "partner."

Gotcha.  I'd guess that the USGA will at least have a conversation with the folks at Fox.  It's an interesting dynamic though: everyone thinks about the NFL as the 500-pound-gorilla when it comes to broadcasting and control of their "product", but nobody at Fox hesitated to rip into them for officiating mistakes during the referee strike.  Fox might take the position that they paid the USGA their money, and the can say whatever the heck they want.

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15 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

Gotcha.  I'd guess that the USGA will at least have a conversation with the folks at Fox.  It's an interesting dynamic though: everyone thinks about the NFL as the 500-pound-gorilla when it comes to broadcasting and control of their "product", but nobody at Fox hesitated to rip into them for officiating mistakes during the referee strike.  Fox might take the position that they paid the USGA their money, and the can say whatever the heck they want.

They might. But it's in Fox's interests to promote the USGA a bit too.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Nor are they competing under the same weather conditions, or gallery conditions, or several other things.

The best you can do is use all available evidence to get the rules as right as possible.

Did you see my response above?

For example, Player A gets to play in light breezes and warm weather. He has a large gallery, and they find a few balls and stop a few others from bouncing farther into the trees.

Player B plays after the wind kicks up and it starts raining. His already small gallery is put off by the weather and goes home. He hits several balls that find the deeper trees and even loses a ball on a hole because nobody was around to see where it went.

Golf is not fair.

The best they can do is to try to be as "right" as possible.

Weather conditions are outside of the control of anyone, but standardizing the number of cameras that cover each golfer is.  If they want to be "right" as possible for all players equally they should restrict the number of cameras covering a golfer so that all golfers are treated equally.  

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1 minute ago, newtogolf said:

Weather conditions are outside of the control of anyone, but standardizing the number of cameras that cover each golfer is.  If they want to be "right" as possible for all players equally they should restrict the number of cameras covering a golfer so that all golfers are treated equally.  

No. They want to use the best possible evidence. That might include a cell phone video from a spectator. You can't regulate all that, nor should you try as you've suggested.

Golf, like life, is not fair.

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5 minutes ago, iacas said:

Golf, like life, is not fair.

I think that many of us think that it should be.  It's not real life, it's a sports competition.

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What the USGA needs to do is realize that their gold comes from the fact that US Open is a sporting event. You cannot have a scoreboard for 1 1/2 hours that may not be correct. 

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2 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I think that many of us think that it should be.  It's not real life, it's a sports competition.

Good luck with that.

Sometimes you get a good break. Sometimes not. The wind can come up and blow your ball in the water. Or calm and you hole out. A bird squawks in your backswing. Your ball lips out. Or in. After hitting a spike mark. You get the better draw, but the obnoxious playing partner. Etc.

Again, please remember the topic.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Good luck with that.

Sometimes you get a good break. Sometimes not. The wind can come up and blow your ball in the water. Or calm and you hole out. A bird squawks in your backswing. Your ball lips out. Or in. After hitting a spike mark. You get the better draw, but the obnoxious playing partner. Etc.

Again, please remember the topic.

The topic isn't about trying to control random events like weather, bird squawks or landing in spike marks but what can be done to make rules enforcement as fair as possible for the entire field.  The NFL doesn't consult cell phone video for instant replays, nor should the USGA.  

Every golfer should be assigned the same number of cameras to be used for rules enforcement (as is done in every other professional sport) and those should be the only cameras used for replay and ruling determinations.  It's fair and simple, I'm not sure why you're protesting against it so much.  

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6 hours ago, newtogolf said:

The topic isn't about trying to control random events like weather, bird squawks or landing in spike marks but what can be done to make rules enforcement as fair as possible for the entire field.

No, the topic is not about that, either. The topic is still about whether the USGA is going to ask FOX to handle things differently in the future given that FOX made the USGA look a whole lot worse than they could have.

And to the side (off-) topic you mentioned, golf's not fair.

6 hours ago, newtogolf said:

The NFL doesn't consult cell phone video for instant replays, nor should the USGA.

I believe they should use all available evidence to make the BEST ruling possible. But it's not the topic here.

6 hours ago, newtogolf said:

Every golfer should be assigned the same number of cameras to be used for rules enforcement (as is done in every other professional sport) and those should be the only cameras used for replay and ruling determinations.  It's fair and simple, I'm not sure why you're protesting against it so much.  

Because it's ridiculous. :-) If you want to discuss that sort of nonsense, start a new topic. That's not the topic here.

23 hours ago, iacas said:

It's interesting, if you think about it… will the USGA dictate to Fox how they screwed up and misrepresented the USGA? Would this have happened on NBC?

In other words, the USGA chose FOX as their broadcast partner, and FOX - by allowing their former players turned announcers to go on for so long about how unfair things were, and to misunderstand and mis-apply the rules, certainly didn't do the USGA any favors. Will this cause a change in the way the USGA allows FOX to cover their events?

 

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Do we have reason to believe that the USGA feels wronged by Fox's coverage of the DJ incident? I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe that's the case. 

Now of course, that doesn't mean they won't privately scold Fox for airing the players tweets (which I believe did add fuel to the fire). But the USGA made this bed. Even if they got the ruling right, they screwed up royally in how they handled it and they deserve every bit of scorn they have received. 

I don't think Faxon and Azinger's ire was based on a misunderstanding of the rule. Had Jeff Hall come into the broadcast booth and said "We have reviewed the videotape. Based on what we saw, and our analysis of the conditions at the time, we believe that it's more likely than not that Dustin Johnson caused the ball to move. We have assessed him a one stroke penalty and we have advised him of that," the story would be a non issue by now. Instead, Hall gave a mealy mouthed answer that left everyone scratching their head. Faxon hit the nail on the head when he said something to the effect of "I'm not sure what happened there, but it sure sounds to me like they are going to give him a one stroke penalty."

And that's the whole thing. The USGA knew they were going to assess the penalty. DJ had already said his piece. He didn't believe that he caused the ball to move. What in the world was discussing the situation afterward going to accomplish? Assess the penalty there and then or let it slide and be done with it. The decision to notify everyone of a "possible" penalty was quite possibly one of the dumbest decisions by a governing body that I have ever seen. And I would be lying if I said that deep down, an evil part of me wasn't hoping for a one stroke DJ victory, just so I could see the fireworks that would have erupted afterward. You think this is a story now? Hell, if DJ hadn't bailed out the USGA, this could have evolved into one of the biggest black eyes in golf history. 

So yeah, I suppose it's possible that the USGA has an off the record with Fox. But if anything, I think Fox's reply would be "hey idiots, we took it easy on you!"

 

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Fox is paying the USGA, this isn't a partnership. 

8 minutes ago, Big C said:

The decision to notify everyone of a "possible" penalty was quite possibly one of the dumbest decisions by a governing body that I have ever seen.

Agreed completely.

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20 hours ago, Coronagolfman said:

Fox did their due diligence in having the USGA Rules Guys on after the tournament was over to explain themselves - and from my point of view the USGA guys did nothing to clarify things other than to pretty much say they didn't believe DJ and were unwilling to go along with the ruling made by the USGA rules guy following the group.  The explanation offered was that there was no compelling evidence that DJ did anything but since the ball moved and there was no other explanation available he must have been at fault.

This whole fiasco is just more of the same mess the PGA Tour and the USGA have gotten themselves into by allowing HD video review of certain situations after the event takes place to be considered as means to call penalties or even disqualify a player (remember the issue that started it all where Craig Stadler used a towel at Torrey to "build a stance" under a tree and thus was disqualified after the round was over?)  Unless you want to set up a "war room" at the tournament site that reviews every shot of every player it really means that only tournament leaders will be under such scrutiny - I suppose they could have an LCD sign behind each green letting a player know if his score for the hole was under video review and then make the call on the spot (like they do on hockey goals).

USGA has a rules guy following each group - should be the responsibility of that guy to make the call on the spot and regardless of what TV shows later you have to go with the call "on the field".  Rules guy asked DJ if he caused the ball to move and his answer was that he did not - it should have ended there.  It's totally unfair that players are at the whim of whatever view the TV cameras may show and what shots will be seen and what shots will not;  if you really wanted to take such stupidity all the way to its conclusion you could HI-Def the ball every time a player addresses it and then apply a penalty even if a player has a ball oscillate on him which is not a violation of the rules but may look like the ball moved.

At some point you just have to trust the players and the on-course officials to do their jobs correctly.

 

No, it doesn't end there because that is the prima facia proof that the rules guy blew it.  Because what the player says he did or did not do is NOT what the Decision says should determine the ruling.  The ruling has to be based on certain factors and there was no indication at all that the RO considered anything but what Dustin said.  And the RO didn't probe anything at all to find out what the facts were.  Dustin may not have grounded behind the ball but he sure as heck grounded right next to the ball on this practice strokes, which occurred within a second or two of the ball moving and well within an inch of it.  Of course grounding is irrelevant, yet the rules official seemed to think it important.  All in all a completely cocked up ruling.

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18 hours ago, tdiii said:

The ruling was not right.  That's very important.  The ruling was incorrect as it was not more likely than not Dustin's actions that caused the ball to move. 

For the ruling to be wrong you have to be able to say what it was that was more likely than the player moving it.  So what was it, in your opinion, the wind?  a bade of grass collapsing?  gravity?

Keep in mind that none of these things caused any other ball to move (or maybe one at most).  This was not a day and a course where environmental factors were causing balls to move around.  We have a player waving his club right near the ball, putting it on the ground right next to the ball before taking those practice swings, (both of which are factors the decision say matter) and the ball moves almost immediately, but it is somehow more likely that some environmental factor, that wasn't moving balls around any other time or place?

I do not see how an analysis conducted under the terms of the decision could come to any conclusion other than assessing the penalty.

14 hours ago, iacas said:

As a RO you have to consider all available evidence. This includes eyewitness accounts, etc. Video is a powerful ally in determining what actually happened.

You also have an obligation to GATHER all available relevant evidence and it is in this area that the rules official blew it as he didn't collect any information at all on the factors that were supposed to be used to make the ruling.  Whatever happened to: "show me exactly what you did"?  Which, IMO should be the FIRST question a rules official should be asking.  And which would have resulted in the immediate assessment of the penalty of the official followed the decision, since 2 of the "players fault" boxes were checked and none of the "not the player's fault" boxes were checked.

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Note: This thread is 1236 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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