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Hideki's situation. Hear me out!!!


Seals
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Ok, I think Hideki was not penalized in part because he doesn't speak English. He uses a translator. Had Hideki been able to speak English, the rules official would have been able to better judge Hideki's tone and asked him more questions regarding the situation. 

Regardless, the intent looked fairly clear to me and I think he should be penalized. 

Thoughts.

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8 minutes ago, BallMarker said:

The bottom line is whether it was intentional or not, the "crime" was commited.

He should be penalized.

Agreed 100%. If I am marking my ball on the green, and I move it 2 feet closer, I could say I didn't "intend" to do that. The rule is ridiculous. 

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Whether or not he speaks English is irrelevant. He’s playing golf and making millions and should know and respect the rules of golf. I think he had every intent on fixing the divot realizing the ball was possibly going to return to its original place. Who quickly fixes a divot while their ball is still moving on the ground? He may have not realized that was a penalty when he did it. But I completely believe once he was asked he was deceitful and absolutely knew that’s why he quickly fixed the divot.

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So you look at the divot and step on it after looking. The split second descision to move your foot there is intent enough by itself. No need to ask, weak PGA move.

If it was a translation problem, he could still fix it himself. Now he will be looked upon as a player who tries to bend the rules.

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Definitely a penalty. Whether Hideki intended to cheat or not doesn't really matter. He could have reacted before even thinking about what he did, but the intent doesn't make the action go away. I could absent mindedly brush away some grass in a water hazard and be penalized for it, even if I didn't have any bad intentions or it helped me in my situation at all.

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4 hours ago, MacDutch said:

Now he will be looked upon as a player who tries to bend the rules.

I actually feel it’s worse than that. He didn’t bend a rule. He broke a rule quite clearly then lied about it. 

Correct response: “ Oh, yeah I didn’t even think of that, you’re right. I goofed. I’ll take the penalty.

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BTW, this is what happens when you try to add "intent" and things to the rules.

This is what happens when the "that's so unfair!" people get too much influence.

This rule was modified slightly in the 2012 rules.

http://www.ruleshistory.com/rules2008.html
http://www.ruleshistory.com/rules2012.html


Note that this is different in the 2019 proposed rules, too:

Quote

11.3 Deliberately Moving Objects or Altering Conditions to Affect Ball in Motion After Stroke

While any player’s ball is in motion after a stroke, a player must not deliberately do any of these things to affect where that ball might come to rest:

  • Alter conditions by taking any of the actions listed in Rule 8.1a, or

Hideki definitely deliberately stepped there.

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On 12/2/2017 at 2:17 PM, Seals said:

Agreed 100%. If I am marking my ball on the green, and I move it 2 feet closer, I could say I didn't "intend" to do that. The rule is ridiculous. 

Except you'd gain an advantage whereas he did not.  The ball never got back to the divot, nor near it.  If I play a 50 yard pitch and step on the divot no one gives it a second thought.

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27 minutes ago, tdiii said:

The ball never got back to the divot, nor near it.

That doesn't matter. At the time he stepped on it, it was reasonable/possible/likely/probable that the ball would roll back to that spot.

Whether it actually did or not is irrelevant.

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

That doesn't matter. At the time he stepped on it, it was reasonable/possible/likely/probable that the ball would roll back to that spot.

Whether it actually did or not is irrelevant.

Except the results indicate that it was not reasonably likely it would roll back. 

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On 12/2/2017 at 2:01 PM, Seals said:

Ok, I think Hideki was not penalized in part because he doesn't speak English. He uses a translator. Had Hideki been able to speak English, the rules official would have been able to better judge Hideki's tone and asked him more questions regarding the situation. 

Regardless, the intent looked fairly clear to me and I think he should be penalized. 

Thoughts.

He was cleared not because he didn’t speak English well, but because he said he always fixes divots instinctively to “care for the course”.

 I’m sure he knows the rules as well as anyone, and not speaking English is not an excuse in pro golf.

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8 minutes ago, tdiii said:

Except the results indicate that it was not reasonably likely it would roll back. 

You're wrong. That's not how that rule works.

It was possible and even likely for the ball to roll back there. That it didn't is immaterial.

Likely doesn't mean "absolutely certain."

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17 minutes ago, Lihu said:

He was cleared not because he didn’t speak English well, but because he said he always fixes divots instinctively to “care for the course”.

 I’m sure he knows the rules as well as anyone, and not speaking English is not an excuse in pro golf.

OP wasn’t suggesting that it was his excuse, he was saying that going through the translator takes away the opportunity of the rules official to listen to not only what Hideki says but how he says it.

If Hideki doesn’t have to speak directly at him in English then he loses the ability to see him stutter or hesitate or anything like that.  He gets the secondhand polished answer.

It may not have played a part, but I can see how it might have.

Edited by Golfingdad
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Just now, Golfingdad said:

OP wasn’t suggesting that it was his excuse, he was saying that going through the translator takes away the opportunity of the rules official to listen to not only what Hideki says but how he says it.

If Hideki doesn’t have to speak directly at him in English then he loses the ability to see him stutter or hesitate or anything like that.  He gets the secondhand polished answer.

Is there any video of this occurrence?

I'm pretty sure the rules officials that questioned him were watching his reactions as he answered the translator? Someone (possibly one of the RO) probably witnessed what he actually did as well. We're all possibly reaching a bit to assert his guilt or innocence unless we actually saw it.

To prove intent he'd have to have known that the ball would likely end up in the same spot again and that he actually knew he was improving the lie. It's difficult to prove either statement.

There's certainly not enough to say that "He doesn't speak English, and had to go through a translator which diluted the potential to prove his guilt" AND "He intended to improve the lie because he knew it was likely the ball would end up in the same spot".

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It's pretty easy to avoid this thing completely.  Wait until the ball comes to rest before housekeeping.  In this case, he could have waited and THEN done the exact same thing and wouldn't be an issue.  Don't clean up while the ball is rolling back at you.

I'm not a fan of 'intentions' rules.  Fewer rules would be nice and those based on actions, or results.  None of us are mindreaders, so it's pretty pointless when someone in their armchair points at something and claims that their opinion is fact.  So a rule on the same is also more of a nuisance.

Perhaps a simpler rule (don't modify the grounds during the course of a shot - the "shot" ending when the ball appears to come to rest)

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