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Found 23 results

  1. That's the bottom tweet, but the whole exchange looks a bit more like this: We've known that professional golfers are often not the most knowledgeable of the Rules, and so this Twitter conversation shouldn't surprise anyone. This topic exists to share stories of pro golfers and the 2019 Rules. That means we might find ourselves discussing a pro golfer screwing something up, talking about the Rules changes, doing something under the 2018 Rules accidentally, whatever. Here's another example: PGA Tour players preparing for new rules, Bryson DeChambeau more than others - Golf Digest I'll pin the topic for now, as I expect the beginning of the year might see a flurry of activity, while I also suspect it will die down by about March or April. Though video of pros putting with the flagsticks in at Augusta National or any other major championship will be particularly fun to see… BTW I recommended to Brittany that she check out RulesGeeks.com. You should as well.
  2. I think the USGA/R&A got this one completely wrong, and it's one of the two rules changes for 2019 that I absolutely hate. One of the great things about golf is that it's a self-policed game. At every level of the sport, we're supposed to call penalties on ourselves and know the rules. Rule 6-1 - the first rule in "The Player" - is "The player and his caddie are responsible for knowing the Rules." In the 2019 Rules, that says "Players are responsible for applying the Rules to themselves:" Except that they're not, really, because there's absolutely no further penalty to be had if they fail to play by and apply the Rules to themselves. In 2019, all you have to do is claim ignorance of a rule, and if nobody catches you, you get away free and clear. Worst case scenario* - you're caught and the strokes you actually incur (but no additional strokes) are added to your score. Outside of not wanting to get a reputation as a cheater, there's no longer any incentive to apply the Rules of golf to yourself in 2019 and beyond. Only a few short years ago, as you may know, failure to include a penalty stroke meant you posted a score for a hole lower than what you shot, and you were DQed. That rule still exists… so long as you don't claim that you didn't know you broke the rule. Only recently, the rule was changed to add two strokes additionally to each penalty you incurred. The rule got softer. It went from a DQ to an additional penalty. Fine - there's still incentive to know the Rules. Had Lexi brain farted and put her ball down nearly an inch from where it was a second prior, and added the two-stroke penalty to her score, she'd have likely won that major and been hailed as Bobby Jones was in 1925: At the 1925 U.S. Open, Bobby Jones moved his ball slightly while setting up for a shot. No one saw it, but Jones was adamant that the ball had moved and assessed himself a one-stroke penalty, costing him the win, as he went on to lose in a playoff. Praised for his classy move, Jones quipped, “You might as well praise me for not robbing banks.” No, nowadays, we have Lexi Thompson playing the role of the victim, and the press willingly going along with it. Lexi did breach the rules. Did it suck that she gained no apparent advantage (though why did she move the ball so much? to avoid a spike mark or something we couldn't see?)? Yes. But the Rules, except for a few instances, don't care about the "potential" advantage. Normally playing a ball from further away is a disadvantage, but when Tiger Woods dropped two yards back it was, to him in that moment, an advantage. The Rules can't (and thus rarely do) determine whether an "advantage" is gained - one man's advantage is another man's disadvantage. If you drop on a sideslope instead of a flat lie where you're supposed to drop, is that an advantage or a disadvantage? The Rules can't - and thus almost never do - decide. They simply say "you dropped and then played from a wrong place in breach of the Rules. That's a penalty." The full (relevant) portion of the Rules is: (3) Wrong Score for a Hole. If the player returns a scorecard with a wrong score for any hole: Returned Score Higher Than Actual Score. The higher returned score for the hole stands. Returned Score Lower Than Actual Score or No Score Returned. The player isdisqualified. Exception – Failure to Include Unknown Penalty: If one or more of the player’s hole scores are lower than the actual scores because he or she excluded one or more penalty strokes that the player did not know about before returning the scorecard: The player is not disqualified. Instead, if the mistake is found before the close of the competition, theCommittee will revise the player’s score for that hole or holes by adding the penalty stroke(s) that should have been included in the score for that hole or holes under the Rules. This exception does not apply: When the excluded penalty is disqualification, or When the player was told that a penalty might apply or was uncertain whether a penalty applied and did not raise this with the Committee before returning thescorecard. The exception is the big thing here, the big change from even 2017. It says that, if you claim that you didn't know that hitting it OB was stroke and distance and you fail to include the "stroke part," no problem. It says that if you claim not to know that you couldn't hit a practice shot while playing a round after you flub an approach, no sweat. It says that if you drop a ball in a wrong place when dropping on the wrong side of a cart path and gaining a much better lie, or two club lengths from the edge of a yellow penalty area, or two yards back like Tiger did at the Masters… or anything else… that doesn't matter at all! You're all good! That part above about how players are responsible for knowing and applying the Rules? They didn't actually mean that. There's no long any incentive, outside of perhaps not wanting to be seen as a serial cheater, to know the Rules of Golf. Not the ones that can penalize you, anyway. Sure, there are still incentives to know when you get free drops away from cart paths and things like that, but players are now actively incentivized to not only play ignorant, but to actually BE ignorant to the Rules of Golf. If they're not caught, they get away with it. If they are caught, why, they only get the penalty they actually incurred. Nothing more. You're obligated to pay taxes. If you fail to pay, and you're caught three years later… you don't just pay what you originally owed. You owe what you originally owed, plus interest, plus additional penalties. I get that the USGA/R&A are trying to treat players as honest, but in going to this length they've gone much too far. They're actually rewarding the dishonest players. They're rewarding the ignorant players. This saddens me greatly. 😢 P.S. Yes, the poll choices are highly biased. Tough. It's my poll, and I don't think there's an argument to be made. 😄
  3. So on March 16-19, @GolfLug and I will be attending another USGA/PGA Rules seminar. I currently have a list of three things to ask about, but I'm curious if there are others: Prolonged use of music on the course. Etiquette? If not to aid you in playing, why? Balls "embedded" in sand-filled divots. Agreeing to leave a ball in place "to help a player." I might feel I know how they'll be answered, but I've told people I'd ask, and share the generalized response… Any others? If they're clear, I may just say "no, that's clear" and shoot the idea down pretty quickly.
  4. https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/pdf/2017/rules-modernization/downloadable-material/Certain Topics or Proposals Not Addressed in the Proposed New Rules of Golf for 2019.pdf That may be one of the easiest to read and best documents out there. It casually bats away a number of assorted complaints and things about "why didn't they change this" or "why can't I drop from a divot hole," etc. I encourage everyone to take ten minutes to read it.
  5. I have a question about a situation I observed during Sunday's round at the PGA Championship. On the 5th hole, Kevin Chappell hooked his drive left. It hit a tree, bounced off the concrete cart path, over a green fence,into a porta-john area, and lodged under a porta-john. A rules official arrived before Kevin and entered the biffy area to locate the ball. After Kevin arrived, together they determined where it crossed the green fence. There was some moderately heated disagreement on the part of Chappell as to how to proceed, but eventually they determined the nearest point of relief (NPR) that cleared his back swing from the fence AND gave him line of sight relief from a bend in the fence that was between Kevin and the green. (There were also lots of trees in this area that would prohibit Chappell from hitting a shot directly at the green from the NPR.) From the NPR, Kevin marked a 1 club length spot further away from the fence, no nearer the hole. This area was considered "rough" but quite trampled. The ground in this area sloped further away from the fence toward the concrete cart path. Kevin took a drop and the ball rolled just beyond the 1 club length spot, but came to rest nearer the hole, so he picked it up to re-drop. Everything seemed correct up to this point... and here is where my question comes in. Upon taking his second drop, the ball again rolled slowly toward and onto the cart path and was still moving (moving closer to the hole) when the official reached down and picked it up (while it was still moving.) Kevin initially made a hesitating verbal and physical motion as the official did this, but proceeded to simply place the ball where the 2nd drop first hit the ground, and played his shot from there. My question: The ball that the official picked up had not yet gone two clublengths beyond where it first hit the ground. It was still moving on the cart path and conceivably could have hit an imperfection and rolled back and stopped on the cart path no nearer to the hole and yet still within two clublengths of the drop. Shouldn't the official have waited until it stopped before picking it up? If the situation I just described had happened, wouldn't the ball be "in play," (having found complete relief from the fence,) and now subject to another drop for relief from the cart path, potentially getting a drop location another 3 club lengths on the other side of the cart path (with the 2 club length roll)? This could have given Kevin a clear shot to the green on better grass. Thoughts?
  6. Phil Mickelson has found himself in breach of the Rules of Golf once again. At least he didn't lie about it and insult his fans afterward. Just a brain fart this time around. Unfortunately that clip also includes the announcers bumbling through stuff. Of course you can violate a rule without a ball in play. Of course you can violate a rule on the tee box. C'mon guys. These rules aren't that difficult, and… if you don't know, don't give your opinion.
  7. I watched a few minutes of the second round of the BMW International Open today, and saw an issue come up with a drop/placing of the ball after Thorbjorn Olesen’s ball went into a water hazard. His ball went into the water hazard, and in taking relief, he dropped twice and it twice rolled back to the hazard and so he placed the ball (1 stroke). He then walked up onto the green. While he was on the green, the ball rolled again into the water hazard. Olesen called for a rules official, who told him to re-place the ball and continue on, with no additional penalty. Evidently there was some concern that this wasn't a correct ruling pretty quickly—even the announcers were questioning it as it was happening—and Olesen was told (maybe one hole later or so) that there would be an additional 1-stroke penalty for relief from the hazard the second time. http://www.golfchannel.com/video/olesen-rules-incident-bmw-international-open/ Olesen seems a bit miffed at the rules officials for the incorrect ruling, but it seems that he still doesn't get it. As I see it, he should have re-dropped (twice, if needed, and then placed if needed) with the second 1-stroke penalty. But the rules official didn't cost Olesen any strokes at all—the ball going into the hazard twice was Olesen’s own doing, so taking relief twice cost him two 1-stroke penalties. My concerns are: 1. Olesen is upset that “you guys [rules officials] … don't know the rules.” Maybe, but Olesen should know them also, especially the significance of whether a ball was moving or at rest, and in play or not. --and maybe worse-- 2. It seems he thinks the rules official cost him the second stroke. But since Olesen doesn't get it that he had to take the second 1-stroke penalty to take relief the second time regardless, Olesen still doesn't understand the rule or this particular ruling. http://www.golfchannel.com/video/european-tour-official-mcfee-olesens-penalty/
  8. As last happened in 1984, the USGA and R&A are reviewing the Rules of Golf, top to bottom, end to end, 1 through 34. They tend to do this every 25-35 years or so. They may make sweeping changes. They may decide they pretty much like them as they are. The only guiding principles are… the Principles as outlined in: So, what changes do you think they should make? Why?
  9. This topic is for the discussion of what happened at the 2016 PGA Championship to Jordan Spieth on the 7th hole. Jordan was on the cart path but didn't want to take relief from that as it would put him behind a big pine tree. His ball was also sitting in a puddle, so he wanted to take relief from casual water. After a protracted discussion with the RO, during which Jordan indicated his line of play to be to the right a little (to miss the tree), and attempted to drop several times toward the right near a second smaller puddle, Jordan finally dropped to the right somewhat and back a fair amount and, in taking his stance, was standing outside the casual water. He ostensibly used the club he'd use to hit the shot, and the RO cleared his play as he was not standing in the water, nor was his ball in the water, or the area of his swing. But when he played the ball his toes were "over" the water. I don't know if they touched much (or any?) water, but they were visibly within the boundary of the casual water. This was pointed out on the telecast immediately, as you'll see in the video, and later by Gary McCord in suggesting that people would be calling in. What do you think? To be clear, I'm not asking whether you think he gained an advantage, whether the rule is lame, whether call-ins should be allowed (the commentators didn't need to "call in" but they, too, aren't rules officials or members of the committee)… This discussion is solely about the Rules of Golf as it applies to this topic, and whether Jordan should be penalized. As best as I can, the order of events: Jordan finds his ball in a puddle on the cart path. He indicates to the RO he wishes to take relief. The RO indicates that this puddle is the instance of casual water they need to get away from. Jordan indicates his line of play, and the RO indicates the nearest point of relief (to the left of the puddle). Jordan measures one club length with his driver to the right and then tries to drop as far right as possible as it will leave him an easier shot. He even drops once or twice outside of a driver club length and is told to re-drop. He eventually drops and places, then takes a stance to show the RO that his foot is not in the casual water. (I believe this is also on tape - I saw the entire thing on the the live stream. The TNT coverage had less than the whole saga.). When he makes his swing, his foot (toes) is as you see above: in or over the casual water from which he took relief. So again, does this meet the definition of complete relief? Or does he deserve a penalty? Did he alter his stance from what he showed the RO? What do you think of this, as it relates to the application of the Rules of Golf?
  10. So I heard this story told to me today… A college coach, I'll call him Jim, told me the story of his first conference championship win. He won it over the Close Competitor team (CC), who had won the previous several conference championships. They were playing in a threesome with a third irrelevant team. The teams in Jim's conference had played a tournament three days prior where stones in bunkers were movable obstructions and could be removed. In the second and final round, when Jim's team trailed CC by a few strokes, three players in the group hit into a bunker. Jim's player hit out. The other team's player hit out. The CC player said "I'm gonna move this stone." Jim's player and the other two looked at each other but said nothing. The player moved the stone, hit out, and went to the next tee and teed off. Jim said the player should be DQed because he teed off on the next hole and didn't correct his mistake (?). The CC coach argued that all three boys should be DQed for waiving a rule of golf (??). In the end the CC and Jim's team tied, and because they use the fifth score as a tiebreaker, and the guy who hit from a bunker was DQed (?)… so Jim's team won. ? - This isn't a DQ penalty. Why they thought it was, I don't know. ?? - The players probably didn't waive a rule, but they should have stopped the guy if they knew that stones were not movable obstructions for this tournament. It's the right thing to do. CC would have won the tournament if the fifth player's score had counted… even with penalty strokes added. There are very few things in golf that result in DQ. Playing the wrong ball and then teeing off is about the only one that really comes up in stroke play college events. Occasionally signing for the lower score one does too. Know the rules. They help you about as often as they hurt you.
  11. So, a discussion more for the Rules Geeks, not whether this is "fair" or "right" or "stupid" or not. I believe the scenario was: A and B hit into the same area in a stroke play competition. B hits A's ball mistakenly. A cannot find his ball and goes to re-tee. On the green (B with A's ball, A with the second ball he put into play), they see that B hit A's ball. This seems to me close enough to 15-3b/1 that I am wondering why A can't just go back to the spot they identify as the spot from which B played A's ball and A can play his second shot from there. Heck, you're more than virtually certain in this case: you're absolutely certain the B played A's ball. If B hit A's ball into a water hazard or OB somewhere, you're not absolutely certain, you're just "virtually certain." Yes, A could say "dude, did you hit my ball" and go forward to look, but that alone might take the bulk of his five minutes, and he might not choose to look 240 yards away for his ball because, seriously, what kind of a jerk hits someone else's ball when they're already looking for it in the same area? In other words… what is the rules justification for penalizing A for a lost ball in this scenario? I understand it meets the definition of a lost ball… but to me, so would the ball in 15-3b/1. So what's the justification? P.S. What if a spectator (outside agency) mistakenly picks up your ball, is embarrassed to tell you that, but musters up the courage after you've put another ball into play and are walking back through the area? What's the rules justification for that? I kind of get it, because the second ball is "in play," but again you're more than virtually certain of not only the temporary theft of your original ball, but it's location, too. The fact that your second ball is "in play" strikes me more as a convenience thing or a technicality than something that reaches down to the core fundamentals or principles that guide the Rules of Golf.
  12. CarlSpackler

    Man Up!

    A lot of people are questioning the rules of golf these days. Just like many are calling for a simpler tax code here in the US (myself included), people think the rules are too complex to understand. I’m guessing that it isn’t so much that they are too difficult to understand than it is hard follow when you have to penalize yourself. The world we live in seems to be migrating further towards a philosophy of “Do whatever you want”. People don’t think that laws apply to them. We are self-centered and spoiled and becoming more so as time goes on. For years, I fought the notion in a golf league that we should adopt a different set of rules to “simplify the game”. I asked what was so hard to understand about hitting a 3rd from the tee if your tee shot goes out of bounds. It’s a simple notion that is easy to understand. When their argument about rule difficulty failed, they would quickly revert to a rational of speeding up the game to prevent the walk back to the tee. I then explained the concept of a provisional ball if you hit your ball towards OB and aren’t sure if it stayed in. It only takes a few minutes if that to tee up another. More resistance came and then people started calling me “Rules Nazi” and said that I was taking the fun out of the game. Tagging @missitnoonan. The conclusion I finally came to was that they simply couldn’t face the reality that they were not as good as they believed they were and needed to take away some of the penalties involved in golf to shoot better scores. It stinks to have add 2 strokes to your score for one lousy shot. I’ve had to do this more often than I care to recall. I have had to take the “walk of shame” many of times when I couldn’t find my ball in the deep rough. After doing that a few times, you become familiar with the notion of a provisional ball. The funniest excuse I heard was that you shouldn’t be penalized for a lost ball because tour pros have marshals and galleries to find their ball and the common golfer does not. They didn’t like my response that they should go to Q-School and get their card if they need help finding their ball. The rules are complex and there are a lot of grey areas. This is why there are so many debates and discussions after the fact. When the playing field varies from course to course and the randomness of nature is involved, bizarre circumstances are going to arise. What do you do if your ball hits a power line that crosses the fairway and pulverizes or hits a flying bird and drops straight down? What if a dog runs across the fairway and picks up your ball that already came to rest and runs off with it? I have actually witnessed those things happen. I am thankful that there are people that have studied the rules in depth, but they are not available during the casual Sunday round. Lord knows we don’t want people flipping through the ROG app to figure it out in the middle of a round either. Playing by the rules is a learning process. You have to start with the basics and move forward, but first you have to commit to following the rules no matter what the outcome or how fair it may seem. After all this rambling on, what is my point? I suppose my point would be to man up, play by the rules, and stop whining about them. Don’t be like my older siblings who made up or changed rules of a game as they went along when they began to fear that they might lose to their younger brother. If you aren’t playing by the ROG as they are defined, you are not playing golf and need to come up with a different name for what you are doing. A coworker and friend who died of cancer said when I described the “rules” that were being proposed for golf league, “That’s not playing golf! That’s playing slap-and-tickle!” Rest in peace Mike. You always knew how to put things.
  13. Should range finders be allowed in PGA Tour golf? Why or why not?
  14. So again: Player A commits three serious breaches that, for whatever reason, nobody but A sees. Player A wins by one stroke over Player B, who wasn't even in the group. Player A is caught on camera doing all of these things. Because it's caught on camera, A wins, B finishes second, and we're just to go about on our merry way? Also, please keep your answer short, because it's… for this thread. This thread isn't about using all or any video evidence. Where in the heck is that written in the Rules of Golf? And though you've used the word "opponent" what about a fellow competitor who likely isn't even in the same grouping with any other given player?
  15. In 1958, Arnold Palmer hit his ball over the 12th green in the final round at Augusta National in the Masters. His ball was half embedded, and he asked the walking official for a ruling as he felt he should get a free drop. The free drop was denied. He played out the hole, making a 5, and then, with a defiant attitude, dropped his ball near where it had been embedded and played out the hole again, making a 3 this time. The 3 was upheld, and Arnold Palmer won his first major and first Masters. Ken Venturi was pissed about it. Not because he disagreed that Arnie wasn't entitled to free relief. He was. But because Arnie played a shot with his ball (four, actually) before invoking 3-3: his right to play a second ball.* * It was 11-5 in 1958, I believe: http://www.ruleshistory.com/rules1956.html#11 . Rule 3-3 - http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!rule-03,3-3 a. Procedure for Competitor In stroke play only, if a competitor is doubtful of his rights or the correct procedure during the play of a hole, he may, without penalty, complete the hole with two balls. To proceed under this Rule, he must decide to play two balls after the doubtful situation has arisen and before taking further action (e.g., making a stroke at the original ball). The competitor should announce to his marker or a fellow-competitor: that he intends to play two balls; and which ball he wishes to count if the Rules permit the procedure used for that ball. Before returning his score card, the competitor must report the facts of the situation to the Committee. If he fails to do so, he is disqualified. If the competitor has taken further action before deciding to play two balls, he has not proceeded under Rule 3-3 and the score with the original ball counts. The competitor incurs no penalty for playing the second ball. The red part is important. You don't get to decide, after the fact, that you want to try that all again because maybe the committee will rule in your favor about something that happened four shots ago. Just an FYI, should you ever need to invoke 3-3.
  16. I started a new topic on this based on this comment: It's interesting, if you think about it… will the USGA dictate to Fox how they screwed up and misrepresented the USGA? Would this have happened on NBC? In other words, the USGA chose FOX as their broadcast partner, and FOX - by allowing their former players turned announcers to go on for so long about how unfair things were, and to misunderstand and mis-apply the rules, certainly didn't do the USGA any favors. Will this cause a change in the way the USGA allows FOX to cover their events?
  17. Hear me out. Suppose that the Rules Official correctly (IMO) ruled that Dustin Johnson earned a penalty stroke on the 5th green for causing his ball to move. I think there is a good chance - not a certainty - that he collapses a bit and/or Lowry plays well enough at that point that the outcome changes. Maybe they tie, maybe DJ loses outright… something. Consider that DJ probably played the last 13 holes not thinking he'd be penalized because he doesn't understand the rule, and how his mind set and decisions might have changed if he had been penalized. At the time, he'd have only been -3 while Lowry would have been -6. I will say it this way again. There is a good chance that because a penalty was not assessed initially and DJ thought he would not incur a penalty, it affected the play of DJ, Lowry, and others over the remaining 13+ holes. In other words, DJ might have LOST the U.S. Open if he had been assessed a penalty at the 5th hole instead of after he'd won by 3/4.
  18. So… the USGA supports and would support making the embedded ball rule offer relief through the green (basically everywhere but the green, the teeing ground of the hole you're on, and hazards and OB), but the R&A resists. Maybe in 2020 they'll change their mind a bit. Plus, as many have pointed out, it would let them remove the idea of "closely mown" grass from the Rules of Golf. Anyway, most of the time, courses and tournaments here play the embedded ball through the green as a local rule, which is allowed, but it has to be specified or it's only in closely mown areas. Note: an embedded ball must be denting the soil somewhat. A ball that's buried in the rough isn't necessarily embedded.
  19. I could have sworn that, when I was younger, the Rules of Golf specified that a flagstick could only be, say, 0.75 inches in diameter for the bottom 8 inches of the flagstick or something like that (I made the actual inch measurements up), but I now believe my memory is wrong on that, as I can't find anything on ruleshistory.com to support that. In fact, the Rules do not have a maximum flagstick diameter, so in reality you could have a flagstick that's so thick (say, 3 inches) that a ball will NOT fit between it and the cup. Just an odd little quirk. Think about it. You could legally make a flagstick, and hold a valid competition that's supported by the USGA and your local golf association (or the R&A and such), where a ball could never be chipped in, putted in from off the green, holed out for eagle or albatross, etc. Weird.
  20. Goodbye, anchored putting stroke. Do you have any last words?
  21. In talking with @david_wedzik this morning about a chapter in Lowest Score Wins, I pointed out to him that you could not take an unplayable ball in a bunker and drop within two club lengths or on a line back from the hole to escape the bunker. He was surprised by this, and in thinking about it, it struck neither of us as "right" given the other Rules of Golf. This, I quickly decided (and I may rethink it later, but for now I'm sticking to it and arguing this point), is the one Rule of Golf I would change. Why, should a bunker penalize a player more than a water hazard? I'm aware of the fact that you can play a ball out of a bunker virtually every time, and 98% of the time out of a hazard you can't even find your ball without scuba gear and a few free hours - I'm talking about when you choose to take a penalty stroke. So imagine this. I have a bunch of little bushes. Next to them I have a small creek. Next to that, I have a bunker. Three players tee off and each hits a ball into the bushes, the creek, or the bunker. Each decides to take a penalty stroke and drop back, in the fairway, on the line from the hole through their ball. Except the guy in the bunker doesn't get to do it. If he is a poor bunker player, under the Rules of Golf, he could quite literally never get out unless he opts to re-play his tee shot (stroke and distance), effectively a two-stroke penalty while the other players only suffer a one-stroke penalty. It's still early, and I'd love to hear opposition to this, but I'm seriously considering petitioning the USGA to change this rule. I realize that bunkers are not "through the green," but all it would take is the removal of the bolded lines here: Just remove that paragraph. What's the harm? Bunkers suck. Most players will continue to play out of them most of the time, but if your ball buries under the lip and you want to take an unplayable, why should you be penalized MORE than if your ball buries in the mud of a creek in a water hazard by having to play from the hazard again?
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