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Girl Loses U.S. Junior Match After Raking Back Short Putt

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This article had an interesting detail: http://golfweek.com/2017/07/28/us-girls-junior-semifinal-ends-in-concession-controversy/

Shepherd said her caddie, University of Indianapolis coach Brent Nicoson, asked if she had conceded the putt.

I wonder if the coach knew what he was doing there (and, if he did, he should be ashamed of himself). And it sounds like the girl wanted to concede the stroke and keep playing. Also relevant:

Nicoson said both players handled a difficult situation better than many adults.

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8 hours ago, DeadMan said:

I wonder if the coach knew what he was doing there (and, if he did, he should be ashamed of himself).

I disagree.

Look, the girl who putted didn't even look over. She gave no time to concede, immediately raking the ball back like she'd lost the hole.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I disagree.

Look, the girl who putted didn't even look over. She gave no time to concede, immediately raking the ball back like she'd lost the hole.

agree with the above.  everyone is focused on the other players "intent" and not the "intent" of the one immediately raking the ball like she lost the hole.  

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On 7/28/2017 at 8:38 PM, saevel25 said:

 

Another question is, if you notice the opponent pick up the ball with out being conceded, and do not mention anything. Are you in violation of waiving the rules of golf and disqualified? 

Not in a match play competition.  The opponent can choose to ignore the breach, and once they play from the next tee, it becomes moot.  

In order for waiving a rule to be a breach, it must be a mutual agreement between 2 or more players.  One player cannot "agree" to waive a rule.  If a single player intentionally breaches a rule, he is just subject to the penalty for that rule.  If his opponent chooses to ignore it without any discussion, then there is no foul.  

Since the rule breach can only affect the player's opponent, it's not the same situation as in a stroke play event where an unreported breach can potentially affect other players in the field.

Edited by Fourputt

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11 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

Not in a match play competition.  The opponent can choose to ignore the breach, and once they play from the next tee, it becomes moot.  

In order for waiving a rule to be a breach, it must be a mutual agreement between 2 or more players.  One player cannot "agree" to waive a rule.  If a single player intentionally breaches a rule, he is just subject to the penalty for that rule.  If his opponent chooses to ignore it without any discussion, then there is no foul.  

Since the rule breach can only affect the player's opponent, it's not the same situation as in a stroke play event where an unreported breach can potentially affect other players in the field.

It's also worth mentioning that, if both players are unsure of the proper ruling and/or procedure in a given situation, they can agree between themselves how to proceed.  Again, it only affects their match.

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1 hour ago, kenstl said:

agree with the above.  everyone is focused on the other players "intent" and not the "intent" of the one immediately raking the ball like she lost the hole.  

The reason for this is because nobody is disputing the losing girls mistake.  It was a big one and it's not at issue.  This is not a zero sum situation and there is not a finite amount of blame to be doled out.

Winning girl or her coach or caddy should have just walked to the next tee and started playing on.

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53 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

Winning girl or her coach or caddy should have just walked to the next tee and started playing on.

Why?

They didn't even have the chance. They would literally be overlooking a breach of the Rules. That's their right in match play, but it's not as cut and dry from an integrity standpoint because the other person goofed, and ultimately you're playing to win. This isn't holding a door for someone or a matter of politeness. It's a competition.

The girl incurred the penalty before they could even concede. She lost the hole in that instant. The hole was over. They literally couldn't concede anything on that hole at that point.

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I hope all the Newport Cup players are paying attention ;-)

Moon isn't the victim here, well maybe from her own mistake. She didn't hear Shepherd concede and obviously didn't look over to Shepherd after she missed the putt. Is it good sportsmanship to go along with a clear rules violation?

It doesn't matter that the putt would have been conceded, you don't just rake putts away in a national championship without a clear concession. 

Saw someone on FB comparing this to Nicklaus conceding Jacklin's putt in the Ryder Cup, it's a completely different thing. Shepherd didn't have a chance to concede the putt.

3 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Winning girl or her coach or caddy should have just walked to the next tee and started playing on.

Not sure if they would have made it that far. You have a rules official there and hopefully Moon's caddy (or Moon) would have said something. Moon doesn't get to decide if the putt is good or not.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

Why?

They didn't even have the chance. They would literally be overlooking a breach of the Rules. That's their right in match play, but it's not as cut and dry from an integrity standpoint because the other person goofed, and ultimately you're playing to win. This isn't holding a door for someone or a matter of politeness. It's a competition.

The girl incurred the penalty before they could even concede. She lost the hole in that instant. The hole was over. They literally couldn't concede anything on that hole at that point.

Agree.  Raking the 4" putt is no different than any other rules violation, not sure why this one should be overlooked.  The girl's frustration and loss of focus due to a missed birdie putt is just something I am sure she has already taken ownership of.   

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3 hours ago, mvmac said:

I hope all the Newport Cup players are paying attention ;-)

Amen to this.  Almost all of my matches are played with/against my friends, or against nearby clubs in what we strive to make a friendly atmosphere.  The Newport Cup is no different that way, we come to the course as friends, and plan to leave as even better friends, but we're also trying to win matches.  This is exactly why I make my own concessions clear, both in words and in volume, and why I make certain that I don't misunderstand my opponents words.  This is why you should never pick up your ball in a match unless you know for certain that the next shot is conceded, or doesn't matter to the match.

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2 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Not that it matters, but it was a bit more than a 4" putt...it might even be outside "the leather".

I changed the title. The 4" was from the article I read, IIRC.

Oh, yeah, it's quoted in the first post.

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I'm not gonna argue.  But I'm not winning a match that way, period.

In October, if any east players have a 4" putt and take it before I have a chance to concede, I'm not saying anything.

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35 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I'm not gonna argue.  But I'm not winning a match that way, period.

I'm not sure you're understanding my point… Moon lost the hole when she raked the putt back. She moved a ball at rest. The hole was literally over. Shepherd scored a 5, and Moon would have had a putt of about a foot for a 6 (after she replaced her ball).

Shepherd had no chance to concede.

So you're saying one of two three things:

  • You'd lie to say "I conceded that" even though you hadn't.
  • You'd have to say or communicate "I'm willing to overlook the rules breach, but if you put your ball back, I'll concede your putt, overlook the penalty, and we'll halve the hole." That's awkward.
  • You'd agree to add a stroke to your score so you could both have a 6 and halve the hole, even though you'd made a 5.

None of those seem like a "good" way to go.

Shepherd did nothing dishonorable. She did nothing sleazy, slimy, scummy, or even in poor etiquette or impolite.

Should the other team have given the ball back to Plaxico Burress when he did this?

He'd just from college where when you go down, you're down (IIRC), or maybe as they said he thought he'd been touched… so should the Jaguars have just given the Steelers the ball back where he went down?

Why not? Because it's a sport.

Does it suck to win that way? Yeah. But Moon is the one who made the mistake. Not Shepherd. And it's a competitive round.

@NatalieB has made two mistakes in playing competitive golf:

  • She chipped up to the edge of the cup, so close we waited to see if it would fall in. Before I could take the flagstick out, she tapped in. Two strokes.
  • She hit another player's ball on the putting green. Her ball was going very slowly and the balls actually finished basically touching (or within an inch of each other - I couldn't see from the side). Two stroke penalty.

Those errors shouldn't be excused, and I wouldn't think of asking for them to be overlooked by her fellow competitors, and were I her, I'd have signed for the proper score - including both penalty strokes.

35 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

In October, if any east players have a 4" putt and take it before I have a chance to concede, I'm not saying anything.

In October, I expect both players to play by the Rules of Golf.

Moon lost the hole when she moved a ball at rest.

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13 hours ago, iacas said:

I disagree.

Look, the girl who putted didn't even look over. She gave no time to concede, immediately raking the ball back like she'd lost the hole.

Moon screwed up, I definitely agree with that.

My opinion is that you are supposed to win with honor in golf, and winning a match over a putt you would have conceded is not winning with honor. Compare what happened here with this:

https://twitter.com/KylePorterCBS/status/891394885542174723

That is sportsmanship and honor. I want to win by playing my best, not because my opponent violated the rules. If the coach knew he could force the win by speaking up, he's prioritizing winning too much in my book. He should have said something before Moon raked her putt back (which, obviously, isn't really possible here) or let the player handle it. Or, at worst, whisper something to his player and let her decide what to do. The fact that the match would have continued without him speaking up just rubs me the wrong way.

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1 minute ago, DeadMan said:

Moon screwed up, I definitely agree with that.

My opinion is that you are supposed to win with honor in golf, and winning a match over a putt you would have conceded is not winning with honor. Compare what happened here with this:

So, you say that Shepard should have dishonorably waived the rules under the some misguided attempt to be honorable? 

2 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

That is sportsmanship and honor. I want to win by playing my best, not because my opponent violated the rules. 

Touch S***, the rules of golf can not be waived. Doing so means they both should be disqualified. There is no leeway on this. It isn't a technicality, the girl violated the rules. She made a mistake. She should not have. No one is at fault for this violation but her. 

Let me say this, what about all the other golfers who competed? How should they feel if those two decided and were granted to play under a different set of rules? How honorable is that? 

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3 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

So, you say that Shepard should have dishonorably waived the rules under the some misguided attempt to be honorable? 

Touch S***, the rules of golf can not be waived. Doing so means they both should be disqualified. There is no leeway on this. It isn't a technicality, the girl violated the rules. She made a mistake. She should not have. No one is at fault for this violation but her. 

Let me say this, what about all the other golfers who competed? How should they feel if those two decided and were granted to play under a different set of rules? How honorable is that? 

It's match play. You can ignore your opponent's breach of the rules if you want, as has been stated multiple times in this thread. They wouldn't have been waiving the rules of golf. 

At this point, there's 4 golfers left and they aren't playing the field. They are playing one other person. Ignoring Moon picking up her ball like this matters to literally no one else.

And yes, the sporting thing to do is to ignore it and win the match by playing better than your opponent. 

Edited by DeadMan

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