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Patrick Reed vs. the Rules of Golf


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Russell Knox lying about when his ball moved. Look at the comments, though, as most of them are still talking about Patrick Reed!

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The Scotsman was deemed to have accidentally moved his ball while getting ready to hit his approaach on the first hole, but the penalty wasn't assessed until he was playing the fifth. We'll explain

The same thing happened to Maverick McNealy on Saturday.

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I just caught the entire clip of Reed walking up to the spotter and going through the entire process. Nothing looked out of the ordinary.  1. He didn't see it bounce from his shot. 2. He inquir

This is amazing. https://www.instagram.com/p/CK6fYccFPqL/  

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

Russell Knox lying about when his ball moved. Look at the comments, though, as most of them are still talking about Patrick Reed!

1613331806638.jpeg

The Scotsman was deemed to have accidentally moved his ball while getting ready to hit his approaach on the first hole, but the penalty wasn't assessed until he was playing the fifth. We'll...

The same thing happened to Maverick McNealy on Saturday.

But somehow it’s Reed’s fault. Silly comments.

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Comments there show how little people know the Rules. I saw several "I thought this wasn't a penalty anymore" type comments. No, that's only on the putting green, folks.

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6 hours ago, iacas said:

Comments there show how little people know the Rules. I saw several "I thought this wasn't a penalty anymore" type comments. No, that's only on the putting green, folks.

I think this is the heart of the issue.

Lots of people think Patrick Reed removing the ball was against the rules or that it hindered the ability of the rules official to check whether a ball was embedded or not. This is because they don't know the rules behind whether or not a ball is embedded, because a ball with any portion below the surface of the ground is considered embedded. You can't observe that in the rough without remove the ball and feeling to see if there is a dip, and the rules specifically say a player may mark their ball and remove it to inspect if it was embedded or not.

I think that's what most people had the biggest problem with, was Patrick Reed moving the ball before a rule's official arrived. It's what I had the biggest issue with myself, even though I know it's perfectly legal, but that's just because I've always tried to make sure there was a rule's official or playing partner present whenever I touch my ball in these types of situation specifically to avoid exactly what happened to Patrick Reed here. He followed the rules to a T, and he still got lambasted for it because people don't understand the rules and believed he shouldn't touch the ball. I never had to worry about TV viewers or spectators getting up in arms about things, but having a playing partner or rules official present still makes it a lot harder for other competitors to make the same sort of claims. It doesn't mean I ever had to wait, however, because the rules are clear that players are in the right to mark and remove their ball to inspect if it was embedded. He even specified to his caddy that the ball shouldn't be touched or cleaned in case he needed to replace the ball where it was originally sitting, if the rules official disagreed with the ball being embedded.

Patrick Reed followed the rules, and the rules official said he believed it was embedded. It's possible that Reed cheated by creating a depression for the official to later feel, but honestly I'd consider that less likely than the alternative (the ball really was slightly embedded, even if it was just a natural depression in the ground it settled into) simply because of Occam's Razor. It's a lot simpler of an explanation that the golf ball simply ended up in a dip where somebody had stepped or there was a natural depression already, compared to the idea that Reed found his ball, removed it, then carefully used his thumb to make a depression that would suggest the ball was embedded. Honestly I feel like the idea of cheating would've been more likely had he left the ball there, since all you have to do is press down on it while pretending to move the grass for a better view and it's now embedded without having to perfectly shape a dip in the ground using your thumb instead.

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11 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I think this is the heart of the issue.

I agree.

I also saw a lot of "What? The Rules of Golf are stupid! He didn't gain an advantage there!"

The Rules of Golf don't care about whether a player gains an advantage in any specific situation, only if there is a potential advantage to be had, and surely you could see how someone might be able to gain an advantage by moving their ball at rest a little bit.

12 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

Lots of people think Patrick Reed removing the ball was against the rules or that it hindered the ability of the rules official to check whether a ball was embedded or not.

Yep.

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Probably opening or re-opening a can of worms here.  Because of different grass lengths, the leaning of the grass and hillside angles I'm surprised more balls don't move.  Maybe they do and we just don't hear about them.

Under the concept of it being a game of honor and integrity I don't understand why the golfer isn't allowed to just move the ball back to its original position with no penalty.

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15 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I think this is the heart of the issue.

Lots of people think Patrick Reed removing the ball was against the rules or that it hindered the ability of the rules official to check whether a ball was embedded or not. This is because they don't know the rules behind whether or not a ball is embedded, because a ball with any portion below the surface of the ground is considered embedded. You can't observe that in the rough without remove the ball and feeling to see if there is a dip, and the rules specifically say a player may mark their ball and remove it to inspect if it was embedded or not.

I think that's what most people had the biggest problem with, was Patrick Reed moving the ball before a rule's official arrived. It's what I had the biggest issue with myself, even though I know it's perfectly legal, but that's just because I've always tried to make sure there was a rule's official or playing partner present whenever I touch my ball in these types of situation specifically to avoid exactly what happened to Patrick Reed here. He followed the rules to a T, and he still got lambasted for it because people don't understand the rules and believed he shouldn't touch the ball. I never had to worry about TV viewers or spectators getting up in arms about things, but having a playing partner or rules official present still makes it a lot harder for other competitors to make the same sort of claims. It doesn't mean I ever had to wait, however, because the rules are clear that players are in the right to mark and remove their ball to inspect if it was embedded. He even specified to his caddy that the ball shouldn't be touched or cleaned in case he needed to replace the ball where it was originally sitting, if the rules official disagreed with the ball being embedded.

Patrick Reed followed the rules, and the rules official said he believed it was embedded. It's possible that Reed cheated by creating a depression for the official to later feel, but honestly I'd consider that less likely than the alternative (the ball really was slightly embedded, even if it was just a natural depression in the ground it settled into) simply because of Occam's Razor. It's a lot simpler of an explanation that the golf ball simply ended up in a dip where somebody had stepped or there was a natural depression already, compared to the idea that Reed found his ball, removed it, then carefully used his thumb to make a depression that would suggest the ball was embedded. Honestly I feel like the idea of cheating would've been more likely had he left the ball there, since all you have to do is press down on it while pretending to move the grass for a better view and it's now embedded without having to perfectly shape a dip in the ground using your thumb instead.

It is more than people not understanding the rules.  It is that PR is being viewed through the haze of his past, not what he actually did this time.  If it was just a lack of understanding the rules than everyone criticizing PR would also criticize Rory.  They both had very similar situations and each followed the rules. The difference is that many are questioning PR's integrity on claiming the embedded ball.  Rory also made the determination that his ball was embedded but nobody (at least none that I know of) are questioning Rory's integrity. 

The problem for PR is that it is very easy to lose somebody's trust but very difficult to regain their trust.  PR could be the most honest player ever for the remainder of his career but some will always doubt him.

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2 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Under the concept of it being a game of honor and integrity I don't understand why the golfer isn't allowed to just move the ball back to its original position with no penalty.

If that was the case, people wouldn't be as careful near their lies. Balls would almost surely move more often than they do now, and the game may grind to a halt if someone says "your ball moved" but the player didn't see it. Arguments would ensue, etc.

So, no thank you. Just be careful near your ball. If it accidentally moves in many situations, you do get to replace it. When measuring, when searching, on the putting green, etc.

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In some cases, even when the ball is in the grass, it forces you to treat the situation similar to a sand shot... no grounding of the club.  Discounting being on the green, which now seems a lot more fair.

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1 minute ago, StuM said:

It is more than people not understanding the rules.  It is that PR is being viewed through the haze of his past, not what he actually did this time.  If it was just a lack of understanding the rules than everyone criticizing PR would also criticize Rory.

That's very true, but I don't think it's the crux of the issue. Rory's situation was also less likely to make the headlines because he wasn't holding onto the lead when it happened, he was -7 after the end of round 3, while Reed was at -10. Patrick Reed's ruling came into the spotlight and became a point of discussion partly because of his history and partly because he was the current leader. His actions during the ruling were definitely viewed by most through a lens colored by his history.

That said, the majority of people who claim he was cheating talked about him removing the ball and touching the area where it sat as though it was evidence of cheating. It's not evidence of anything besides Patrick Reed following the rules, removing the ball and inspecting the lie to see if any part of the ball was below the surface. All of those were by the book, as was everything Rory did, but Rory didn't have cameras tracking whether his ball did or didn't bounce because he wasn't the leader under constant scrutiny. 

I think it definitely played a role, but I think the majority of the outrage has to do with people not knowing the rules. If Patrick Reed called over a rules official without touching his golf ball, and the official said it was embedded then there wouldn't have been any controversy in the first place. That would have been within the rules and open/shut, nothing to discuss. The controversy happened because people thought Patrick Reed was cheating when in reality he was following exactly what the rules said he should have done (mark the ball, remove it, and then inspect the lie). 

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4 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

That's very true, but I don't think it's the crux of the issue. Rory's situation was also less likely to make the headlines because he wasn't holding onto the lead when it happened, he was -7 after the end of round 3, while Reed was at -10. Patrick Reed's ruling came into the spotlight and became a point of discussion partly because of his history and partly because he was the current leader. His actions during the ruling were definitely viewed by most through a lens colored by his history.

That said, the majority of people who claim he was cheating talked about him removing the ball and touching the area where it sat as though it was evidence of cheating. It's not evidence of anything besides Patrick Reed following the rules, removing the ball and inspecting the lie to see if any part of the ball was below the surface. All of those were by the book, as was everything Rory did, but Rory didn't have cameras tracking whether his ball did or didn't bounce because he wasn't the leader under constant scrutiny. 

I think it definitely played a role, but I think the majority of the outrage has to do with people not knowing the rules. If Patrick Reed called over a rules official without touching his golf ball, and the official said it was embedded then there wouldn't have been any controversy in the first place. That would have been within the rules and open/shut, nothing to discuss. The controversy happened because people thought Patrick Reed was cheating when in reality he was following exactly what the rules said he should have done (mark the ball, remove it, and then inspect the lie). 

I disagree.  It has been a few weeks since the incident and multiple rules officials and other reliable sources have stated that PR followed the rules and yet people are still saying he cheated.  They are refusing to accept that he followed the rules, even after they learned Rory did the same thing.  This really never should have been a controversy, a rules official clearly stated no rule was broken very early on in this saga but many do not want to listen to that, including some in the media.

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36 minutes ago, StuM said:

I disagree.  It has been a few weeks since the incident and multiple rules officials and other reliable sources have stated that PR followed the rules and yet people are still saying he cheated.  They are refusing to accept that he followed the rules, even after they learned Rory did the same thing.  This really never should have been a controversy, a rules official clearly stated no rule was broken very early on in this saga but many do not want to listen to that, including some in the media.

It’s true that a lot of people see & hear what they want regardless of facts. This is one of those times. Maybe I’m early bloomer curmudgeon at 43yo, but  I’ve lost the desire to convince people of facts once they’ve been made aware of them...it often seems like an exercise in futility. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, woodzie264 said:

It’s true that a lot of people see & hear what they want regardless of facts. This is one of those times. Maybe I’m early bloomer curmudgeon at 43yo, but  I’ve lost the desire to convince people of facts once they’ve been made aware of them...it often seems like an exercise in futility. 

 

 

You are too young for that.  Especially since I am older than you that would imply I am a curmudgeon, and even though I may be, I refuse to admit it.

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1 hour ago, StuM said:

I disagree.  It has been a few weeks since the incident and multiple rules officials and other reliable sources have stated that PR followed the rules and yet people are still saying he cheated.  They are refusing to accept that he followed the rules, even after they learned Rory did the same thing.  This really never should have been a controversy, a rules official clearly stated no rule was broken very early on in this saga but many do not want to listen to that, including some in the media.

That's fair, after numerous sources came out to show that Patrick's actions were fully within the rules it should've died out and probably would have without Reed's history. That's probably what turned this into such a large controversy instead of just something where public knowledge of the rules was expanded (like what happened when DJ's ball moved on the putting green, and the public learned about the rule and it sparked a change). Instead we end up with constant accusations of cheating even weeks afterwards because people are convinced Reed was cheating.

I'll fully admit when I first heard what happened my gut reaction was to be suspicious, until I actually watched the video and saw that everything was by the book. Reed wouldn't have had any doubters if he called the official over before moving the ball, but honestly it's a waste of time to call an official over for every single possible relief situation (unless we get one RO walking/riding along with each and every group going forwards). Slow play is a big enough problem as is, people cheating is practically non-existent by comparison at the PGA Tour level. 

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5 hours ago, Pretzel said:

All of those were by the book, as was everything Rory did, but Rory didn't have cameras tracking whether his ball did or didn't bounce because he wasn't the leader under constant scrutiny. 

Minor point, but yes, Rory had a camera on him.  He was 3 shots off the lead.

 

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8 hours ago, StuM said:

You are too young for that.  Especially since I am older than you that would imply I am a curmudgeon, and even though I may be, I refuse to admit it.

Curmudgeon isn't about age, it is about attitude.

 - A proud Curmudgeon

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3 hours ago, turtleback said:

Curmudgeon isn't about age, it is about attitude.

 - A proud Curmudgeon

 

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11 hours ago, StuM said:

 

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The dictionary is the last refuge for those who can't distinguish between denotation and connotation, he said in a curmudgeonly manner.

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