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Nutsmacker

Cheating in tournament

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I was recently playing in a local semi-public stroke play tournament.  The third person that was to play in my group didn't show up so it was just myself and another younger college graduate playing together.  He was a 2 handicap and I presumed an accomplished player because of his handicap.  Seemed like a nice guy and his parents were there walking the course with him.   Anyhow, on about the 6th or 7th hole I noticed something on the green.  He marked his ball with his poker chip marker in front of the ball.  I went ahead and finished out my putt and noticed he put the ball in front of the marker.  I didn't say anything right away because I was not sure if I was hallucinating because it was hot.  We played on and it was clear that was his thing.  I noticed it 3 more times and I finally just mentioned that it was not the correct way to mark the ball.  He got pretty pissed off at me saying that I was going all "lexi thompson" on him.  Frankly, I was kind of embarrassed because his parents were there.  I did not want to make a scene.  I just mentioned it to him.  I didn't start screaming that he was cheating.  I honestly was willing to accept that he never learned the proper way to mark a ball.  I mentioned it to the tournament organizer and the guy frankly wanted nothing to do with the whole situation.  

I must say, that I am rather turned off in even playing in an event again after witnessing such an affair.  I assume that when playing with others that have low handicaps that they are all playing by the book when playing in an individual tournament.  What is the course of action one should take in this scenario?  I felt really perplexed on how to handle the whole situation with the parents there, etc.  It left a very sour taste in my mouth.  

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Joke play (stroke play) has a lot of this sort of thing. I think there’s pressure for some kids to do well, especially with his parents present.

Too bad...

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It sounds to me like you handled it just fine.  You mentioned it to the player, and then mentioned it again to the organizer of the tournament.  The only other thing you maybe could have done (heck, maybe you did) was to check the scores and if he was in a position to win or finish well, push harder with the organizer who didn't appear to want to hear about it.

I'm not super experienced with tournaments but I've played more than a handful, and I've never come across anything like this.  (My point being, don't let this one occurrence keep you from playing in more tournaments if you enjoyed it otherwise.)

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The OP handled it well. When I use to play in tournaments, I would see this ball marking move on occasions. When I saw it, I was not bashful. I would mention it to the culprit to whom ever as required.  

Those types of players, who skirt the rules, especially in sanctioned play, usually disappear after a while. 

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1 minute ago, Golfingdad said:

It sounds to me like you handled it just fine.  You mentioned it to the player, and then mentioned it again to the organizer of the tournament.  The only other thing you maybe could have done (heck, maybe you did) was to check the scores and if he was in a position to win or finish well, push harder with the organizer who didn't appear to want to hear about it.

I'm not super experienced with tournaments but I've played more than a handful, and I've never come across anything like this.  (My point being, don't let this one occurrence keep you from playing in more tournaments if you enjoyed it otherwise.)

Ugh, that was the thing.  He put up a score that was going to contend for the win.  I didn't even sign his card.   I think he ended up getting 2nd.  The director either was not equipped or wanted to deal with it.  It would have been a really bad situation I think.  However, I just hope that the director bans him from playing in events again.  

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4 minutes ago, Nutsmacker said:

Ugh, that was the thing.  He put up a score that was going to contend for the win.  I didn't even sign his card.   I think he ended up getting 2nd.  The director either was not equipped or wanted to deal with it.  It would have been a really bad situation I think.  However, I just hope that the director bans him from playing in events again.  

Not likely to be banned. Next time don’t be so bashful 😂

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3 hours ago, Nutsmacker said:

Ugh, that was the thing.  He put up a score that was going to contend for the win.  I didn't even sign his card.   I think he ended up getting 2nd.  The director either was not equipped or wanted to deal with it.  It would have been a really bad situation I think.  However, I just hope that the director bans him from playing in events again.  

I’ll be the dissenter here and say maybe you should have done more. Cheating and beating other guys out of placing and whatever is no fly zone in my book.

You can still be polite about it.

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I’m going to agree with @iacas on this. ‘Hey John Doe, you’re marking your ball incorrectly by marking in front then placing you’re ball in front. I’d hate to see you get penalized but that’s just the rule.  I’m just letting you know you’re breaking it.”  If he was an ass about it, I’d have an official observe it for him/herself. Surely he wouldn’t appreciate another player cheating. 

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BTW I love how people will sell out their souls and reputations for an inch or two. C'mon…

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You handled it like I think I would have done. 

It's just a difficult situation from which there are only losers. The key thing is that you mentioned it and then followed up when your partner didn't accept the correction, so I think you can hold your head up high. This type of thing absolutely must be called out to uphold the game, but we will all have differences in how forcefully we confront the parties involved. 

It's just an unfortunate part of the game. The etiquette and honor code involved make an allegation of cheating far more serious than in some other sports. If I'm playing a football (soccer) game and I suddenly shout to the referee that a player has stolen 10 yards for the throw-in, it's pretty normal,  there's not the slightest bad feeling involved after the game. But if you say a fellow golfer cheated, it's more akin to saying the person is dishonest, and not in a jokey 'don't trust frank with an open biscuit tin' way, but more a 'don't let Pete count the money on his own' way. Some take the view that this code of honor guarantees honesty (which would be nice to believe, but imo is naive) and thus suspicion and disdain is attached to both the accuser and the accused. 

I once called out a player for declaring an incorrect score, and I felt bad about the incident for months. In that case, I know the player involved to be a man of absolute integrity, but I know that, not being very competitive, he counts his score only when he's putted out and sometimes miscounts on a bad hole. As difficult as these things are for those of who prefer to avoid confrontation, it's too great a game to let it put me off, and I hope it doesn't do you either. 



 

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@Moxley the only thing is it’s not an allegation. It’s a clear breach of the rules. Repeated many times. By a guy who finished second.

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

BTW I love how people will sell out their souls and reputations for an inch or two. C'mon…

My men's club includes a former very senior member of the armed services, super nice guy.  I watched him do this same trick the first time I played with him.  Couldn't believe it the first time I noticed it, but he did it every time he marked his ball.  As former military myself, I found it horrifying and was embarrassed for him. 

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Like I mentioned, it was a very perplexing situation.  I mentioned it to the player, the director, and didn't sign the card.  However, they still entered his score into the system.  I think the prize for 2nd place was a 50 dollar gift card to a golf shop or something.  It was not thousands of dollars...not that it should make much of a difference in how you conduct yourself on the course.  

I was not happy at all with what transpired but I wasn't sure what else to do besides telling the other players as they walked into turn in their cards.  There weren't a bunch of rules officials riding around on the course.  The staff was essentially the director and a person registering the players.  I really wish there was a 3rd player in my group.  It would have made the situation easier I think if I had another player backing up my allegations.  My question was more about what else could/should have I done considering the circumstances.  Essentially, what would you have done?  I feel really bad about the whole thing.  It made me question playing in those type of events ever again.  I used to be just a weekend player with my friends and never play serious events.  I made an effort to try and start doing this in the last 2 years and now I am seeing the ugly side of tournament golf.  I played in a summer league last year and witnessed a lot of the same kind of shenanigans.  In the league, the organizers would try to address it...but it would never stick.  There were lots of "gimmes" being taken, drops instead of re-teeing up when OB off the tee box, etc.  A couple of us would bring this up and nothing would be done about it.  

 

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The city tournament here apparently has at least one notorious cheater that somehow still is allowed to play every year. I don't know the guy, he plays in the senior bracket, but everyone seems happy when he gets beat. I don't understand how someone who is a known cheater is allowed to participate. It kind of taints the entire tournament.

If you know that the people who run that tournament aren't interested in enforcing the rules, find another one to play in, don't just give up on competitive play all together.

4 minutes ago, Nutsmacker said:

 I played in a summer league last year and witnessed a lot of the same kind of shenanigans.  In the league, the organizers would try to address it...but it would never stick.  There were lots of "gimmes" being taken, drops instead of re-teeing up when OB off the tee box, etc.  A couple of us would bring this up and nothing would be done about it.  

 

Here's the thing about league play, at least as far as I've noticed. Rarely are people playing in a league doing so strictly by the rules. The league I play in is a joke when it comes to the rules. They'll take free relief from under trees, drops for OB, roll the ball around, use a different ball to putt with than they do playing to the green, so on and etc. Hell, they'll even give me a hard time for playing by the rules: "we play 'winter rules' here, get out from under that tree" or "go ahead and drop out in the fairway, give yourself a better shot" .... I promise you, if my playing partner wasn't my father I'd have quit this league years ago, but I endure it so I can spend the time with him.

 

 

Edited by Jeremie Boop

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2 minutes ago, Nutsmacker said:

I played in a summer league last year and witnessed a lot of the same kind of shenanigans.  In the league, the organizers would try to address it...but it would never stick.  There were lots of "gimmes" being taken, drops instead of re-teeing up when OB off the tee box, etc.  A couple of us would bring this up and nothing would be done about it.  

 

Never heard of anything like this - I think you've managed to (unfortunately) find a bad league. Don't assume that it's all like that, honestly, there's lots better out there!

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

@Moxley the only thing is it’s not an allegation. It’s a clear breach of the rules. Repeated many times. By a guy who finished second.

I think I was using the term allegation in a different way to how you may have interpreted it. I was referring to the mere act of reporting the infringement. There are differing definitions of the term allegation, some of these assume the allegation is unsupported/without proof, which is not the way I was using the word. 


 

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

BTW I love how people will sell out their souls and reputations for an inch or two. C'mon…

It’s not really clear that it makes a difference  either!

Unless, of course you use an old vinyl record as a marker 😂

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39 minutes ago, iacas said:

@Moxley the only thing is it’s not an allegation. It’s a clear breach of the rules. Repeated many times. By a guy who finished second.

Yea, I guess its not an allegation because it was a fact.  However, because I had no supporting proof...it was an allegation.  Which is why I wish had another player to back me up.  

 

9 hours ago, iacas said:

BTW I love how people will sell out their souls and reputations for an inch or two. C'mon…

The other thing I thought about as I was driving home was how he had one of those giant poker chip markers....so he was essentially moving the ball forward about 3 1/2 ball lengths closer to the hole.  That certainly makes your 5 footers a tad bit easier.  

Which actually brings in another question...why do people use the giant poker chip markers?  I always thought it would be best to use something as a mark that would try to be as flat and small as possible(like a dime) in case someone hit a putt that was going to make contact with the marker(by accident)

Edited by Nutsmacker

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