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Tour Players and 2019 Rules (Running Topic)


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On the read of the putt, it MAY have been a close interpretation, but that is what officials do.  If I had 50¢ for every close interpretation I made on the soccer field as a FIFA and NCAA referee for decades, I would be very comfortable putting money down for any set of irons or new driver (Ping G410) I desired.

I do not know if they had been warned earlier.  If they had, then this is even a bigger issue.  Even if not, they appear to have intended to push the rule to see its reach.

While we all debate, I am sure those involved will adjust. And the officials may debate if it were indeed too close to call, But they, too, will move  on.

Though, my experience in making calls on the field also proves the point that debates by spectators is fun; And, they will remain so as long as they remain civil!

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So, there's the new rule about caddies not standing behind a player as they begin to take their stance - AS SOON as this caddy sees his man step to the ball he's moving out of the way, this was an absolutely GARBAGE ruling.

 

Colin P.

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6 minutes ago, colin007 said:

So, there's the new rule about caddies not standing behind a player as they begin to take their stance - AS SOON as this caddy sees his man step to the ball he's moving out of the way, this was an absolutely GARBAGE ruling.

I disagree.

The Rule is pretty clear:

Quote

(4) Restriction on Caddie Standing Behind Player. When a player begins taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made:

  • The player’s caddie must not deliberately stand in a location on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.

The rules are pretty clear, AND the player had the ability to back out and start again. He didn't.

The caddies will learn pretty quickly not to be standing in that spot when the player is getting ready to play his ball. And, in general, I like how the European Tour handles penalties. They simply hand them out, when due, just like slow play penalties and other things. They actually enforce the rules as written, instead of the "soft" way the PGA Tour officials tend to handle them.

  • Was the caddie on or close to an extension of the line of play? Yes.
  • Had the player begun taking his stance? Yes.

Penalty.

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27 minutes ago, DrMJG said:

I do not know if they had been warned earlier.  If they had, then this is even a bigger issue.  Even if not, they appear to have intended to push the rule to see its reach.

While we all debate, I am sure those involved will adjust. And the officials may debate if it were indeed too close to call, But they, too, will move  on.

Personally, I don't care if they had been specifically warned or not.  These rules have been available for review for months.

22 minutes ago, colin007 said:

So, there's the new rule about caddies not standing behind a player as they begin to take their stance - AS SOON as this caddy sees his man step to the ball he's moving out of the way, this was an absolutely GARBAGE ruling.

I agree with @iacas, this was a correct ruling.  If you look at the illustration in the rulebook, you'll see a nearly identical view, with a large red X at the bottom showing that it is not allowed.  

It is interesting to me that the Euro Tour issued a statement agreeing that the penalty was appropriate, but apparently wants some "leeway" for its officials.  I think most of us would prefer rules that draw clear lines, and the Tour wants to add a gray area to this specific rule.

360757_ORIG11.jpg

There has been much discussion and comment over the past 24 hours on the two-shot penalty given to Li Haotong

 

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‘Let me state initially that, under the new Rules of Golf issued on January 1, 2019, the decision made by our referees was correct, under the strict wording of the rules. It is my strong belief, however, that the fact there is no discretion available to our referees when implementing rulings such as this is wrong and should be addressed immediately.

There should be no discretion of the refs to interpret the rules other than word for word and intention of the governing bodies. There is no need for rules officials to interpret the rules based on sympathy of the situation.

Quote
‘Everyone I have spoken to about this believes, as I do, that there was no malice or intent from Li Haotong, nor did he gain any advantage from his, or his caddie’s split-second actions. Therefore the subsequent two shot penalty, which moved him from T3 in the tournament to T12, was grossly unfair in my opinion.

What if a caddie whispers to the golfer, "Your aim is spot on." They could easily just lie to the rules official about it if brought up.

Intent shouldn't matter. It's nearly impossible to prove intent.

 

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Oof, that statement is brutal:

Quote

It is my strong belief, however, that the fact there is no discretion available to our referees when implementing rulings such as this is wrong and should be addressed immediately.

‘Everyone I have spoken to about this believes, as I do, that there was no malice or intent from Li Haotong, nor did he gain any advantage from his, or his caddie’s split-second actions. Therefore the subsequent two shot penalty, which moved him from T3 in the tournament to T12, was grossly unfair in my opinion.

‘In an era where we are striving to improve all aspects of golf, we need to be careful and find the proper balance between maintaining the integrity of the game and promoting its global appeal.'

 

If we're only going to look at whether there is intent or malice for a rules violation, count me out. To take a ridiculous example, I didn't intend to hit my ball into the water, so why should I get a penalty? As @saevel25 says, you're leaving the door open to players lying a lot more when assessing intent.

Also, that last sentence. Talk about a reach. I doubt the global appeal of golf is effected at all by caddies lining up players. 95% of players don't have caddies, period. Plus, it looks really bad to have to rely on your caddy to line you up. And I don't know how the integrity of the game is something to balance against promoting its global appeal?

Expected better from the European Tour, to be honest.

Edited by DeadMan

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4 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

There should be no discretion of the refs to interpret the rules other than word for word and intention of the governing bodies. There is no need for rules officials to interpret the rules based on sympathy of the situation.

What if a caddie whispers to the golfer, "Your aim is spot on." They could easily just lie to the rules official about it if brought up.

Intent shouldn't matter. It's nearly impossible to prove intent.

  

Spot on. They had enough pre knowledge to understand the limitations to their way of golf PRIOR to the tournament, and should have adjusted their methods before then.  As I stated earlier it would appear to me as a chance to push the new rule a bit.

I hope the caddy said to Li at least "my bad".

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

  • Had the player begun taking his stance? Yes.

Penalty.

I disagree, the caddy started walking away as the player began to step in. The actions were simultaneous.

Colin P.

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18 minutes ago, colin007 said:

I disagree, the caddy started walking away as the player began to step in. The actions were simultaneous.

li.jpg

This is almost identical to the "don't" illustration in the rules.  Right foot stepping in, putter near the line, caddie still behind the ball.  

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25 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

li.jpg

This is almost identical to the "don't" illustration in the rules.  Right foot stepping in, putter near the line, caddie still behind the ball.  

You can see his left foot and leg lifting up to take a step away.

Screenshot_20190128-132430_1_1.png

Colin P.

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18 minutes ago, colin007 said:

You can see his left foot and leg lifting up to take a step away.

Colin, c'mon man… The caddie is clearly "on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball" while the player is "beginning to take his stance."

So what if his leg is lifting up? He's "on or close to" that line.

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STATEMENT FROM R&A CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARTIN SLUMBERS ON THE LI HAOTONG RULING

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have reviewed the Li Haotong ruling made by the European Tour referees and agree that it was correct. There has been some misunderstanding of the new Rule and I would point out that it is designed to prevent any opportunity for the caddie to stand behind the player as he begins to take his stance. Whether the player intends to be lined up is not the issue. We appreciate that it was a very unfortunate situation yesterday and I completely understand Keith Pelley’s concerns when a Rules incident occurs at such a key stage of a European Tour event but there is no discretionary element to the Rule precisely so that it is easier to understand and can be applied consistently.
“We are continuing to monitor the impact of the new Rules but I made it clear to Keith that our focus is very much on maintaining the integrity of the Rules for all golfers worldwide.”

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14 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

STATEMENT FROM R&A CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARTIN SLUMBERS ON THE LI HAOTONG RULING

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have reviewed the Li Haotong ruling made by the European Tour referees and agree that it was correct. There has been some misunderstanding of the new Rule and I would point out that it is designed to prevent any opportunity for the caddie to stand behind the player as he begins to take his stance. Whether the player intends to be lined up is not the issue. We appreciate that it was a very unfortunate situation yesterday and I completely understand Keith Pelley’s concerns when a Rules incident occurs at such a key stage of a European Tour event but there is no discretionary element to the Rule precisely so that it is easier to understand and can be applied consistently.
“We are continuing to monitor the impact of the new Rules but I made it clear to Keith that our focus is very much on maintaining the integrity of the Rules for all golfers worldwide.”

Amen.  The fewer gray areas, the fewer judgement calls required from players and officials, the more consistently the rules can be applied.

Dave

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19 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

STATEMENT FROM R&A CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARTIN SLUMBERS ON THE LI HAOTONG RULING

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have reviewed the Li Haotong ruling made by the European Tour referees and agree that it was correct. There has been some misunderstanding of the new Rule and I would point out that it is designed to prevent any opportunity for the caddie to stand behind the player as he begins to take his stance. Whether the player intends to be lined up is not the issue. We appreciate that it was a very unfortunate situation yesterday and I completely understand Keith Pelley’s concerns when a Rules incident occurs at such a key stage of a European Tour event but there is no discretionary element to the Rule precisely so that it is easier to understand and can be applied consistently.
“We are continuing to monitor the impact of the new Rules but I made it clear to Keith that our focus is very much on maintaining the integrity of the Rules for all golfers worldwide.”

It makes me happy to read this. Almost every rules controversy should start with this line.

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32 minutes ago, Rulesman said:

STATEMENT FROM R&A CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARTIN SLUMBERS ON THE LI HAOTONG RULING

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have reviewed the Li Haotong ruling made by the European Tour referees and agree that it was correct. There has been some misunderstanding of the new Rule and I would point out that it is designed to prevent any opportunity for the caddie to stand behind the player as he begins to take his stance. Whether the player intends to be lined up is not the issue. We appreciate that it was a very unfortunate situation yesterday and I completely understand Keith Pelley’s concerns when a Rules incident occurs at such a key stage of a European Tour event but there is no discretionary element to the Rule precisely so that it is easier to understand and can be applied consistently.
“We are continuing to monitor the impact of the new Rules but I made it clear to Keith that our focus is very much on maintaining the integrity of the Rules for all golfers worldwide.”

Thank goodness. Pelley’s statements were disappointing to say the least.

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This past weekend, Hatong Li was penalized two strokes under Rule 10.2b(4) on the 18th green at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic: The penalty dropped Li from a T-3 to a T-12 finish, costing him about…

 

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14 hours ago, iacas said:

I disagree.

The Rule is pretty clear:

The rules are pretty clear, AND the player had the ability to back out and start again. He didn't.

The caddies will learn pretty quickly not to be standing in that spot when the player is getting ready to play his ball. And, in general, I like how the European Tour handles penalties. They simply hand them out, when due, just like slow play penalties and other things. They actually enforce the rules as written, instead of the "soft" way the PGA Tour officials tend to handle them.

  • Was the caddie on or close to an extension of the line of play? Yes.
  • Had the player begun taking his stance? Yes.

Penalty.

As the rules are now drafted, I agree that a penalty was correct. 

However, I disagree with the words that I have highlighted in bold - my understanding is that you cannot avoid the penalty by backing off the shot and starting again.

 

Edited by arab_joe
Woeful grammar...
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6 hours ago, arab_joe said:

my understanding is that you cannot avoid the penalty by backing off the shot and starting again.

The rules allow it on the green:

Quote

(4) Restriction on Caddie Standing Behind Player. When a player begins taking a stancefor the stroke and until the stroke is made: 

  • The player’s caddie must not deliberately stand in a location on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.
  • If the player takes a stance in breach of this Rule, he or she cannot avoid penalty by backing away.

Exception – Ball on Putting Green: When the player’s ball is on the putting green, there is no penalty under this Rule if the player backs away from the stance and does not begin to take the stance again until after the caddie has moved out of that location.

 

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  • iacas changed the title to Tour Players and 2019 Rules (Running Topic)
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