Harrington disqualified after failing to properly replace ball

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2011, 4:58 pm

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Three time major-winner Padraig Harrington was disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on Friday after he failed to replace a ball that had moved a fraction of an inch when he picked up his marker during Thursday’s first round.

Harrington was called in before the second round to review video replays of the incident, and accepted his disqualification after acknowledging that his ball moved ever so slightly as he was picking up his coin on the seventh green.

“It looks like it’s moved,” Harrington said. “So I think it’s fair enough that the penalty is there on the face of it.”

Under European Tour rules, the ball must be replaced if the coin causes it to move. A failure to do so results in a two-stroke penalty, and Harrington was disqualified for signing the wrong score after putting down a 3 on the seventh hole. He finished with a 7-under 65 to sit one shot behind leader Charl Schwartzel of South Africa.

“You know what, a lot worse things could happen. You could be five ahead going into the last round,” Harrington joked. “Yeah, it’s disappointing. … It’s an awkward situation. Every time something like this happens, you want to try and gain something from it, learn something from it.”

The Irishman said he clearly remembered the incident and that he knew he had touched the ball when picking up his coin. However, he said that “at that moment I established that the ball hadn’t moved” and therefore didn’t call over the referee.

But tournament organizers said a television viewer e-mailed European Tour officials to point out that the ball had moved from its original decision. After reviewing slow-motion replays of the footage, Harrington said he was forced to agree.

“This morning I came in and watched it on the TV,” he said. “I think with an unbiased view of it, I would comfortably say 99 percent, the ball moved three dimples forward and moved back a dimple, a dimple and a half.”

European Tour referee Andy McFee said he was confident Harrington didn’t deliberately cheat, but that “the fact that Padraig was totally unaware that this ball has moved doesn’t unfortunately help him.”

It is the second time that Harrington has been disqualified from a tournament. In May 2000 at the Benson and Hedges International at the Belfry, England, Harrington led by five shots after three rounds but had failed to sign his first-round card and was disqualified on Sunday morning.

On Friday, he said there wasn’t anything he could have done to avoid the penalty.

“I was well aware of the fact that I touched it,” he said. “So I checked that the Titleist logo to align the ball was still in the same position pointing toward the target and was quite comfortable that the ball had not moved. I’m well aware of the ruling on that situation, and it’s happened many times over the years. And you know, I’m quite comfortable, if you touch a ball and it doesn’t move and you feel it hasn’t moved, it hasn’t moved, and you don’t need to replace it.”

Harrington said he was against changing the rules but said the European Tour might consider modifying the penalty so a player was not disqualified after he “has signed his card and something has come forward that the player could not have been aware about.”

“The rules are good, we abide very well, the players love the fact that we apply them,” he said. “We love the standard that we play by. When we have to stick to that, that’s the best thing about our game.”

Harrington’s disqualification is the latest to be sparked by a viewer.

Two weeks ago, Camilo Villegas was disqualified from the Tournament of Champions after a viewer phoned in to point out that he had swatted away loose pieces of grass while his attempted chip up a slope rolled back toward him – removing objects that could have influenced the movement of the ball.

Villegas handled the disqualification with grace but not all golfers were happy. Ian Poulter, who lost a playoff at the Dubai World Championship after being penalized for dropping the ball on his marker, wasn’t so kind.

“An armchair official tweeted in to get Camilo DQ, what is wrong with people have they got nothing better to do,” he tweeted back then. “Yes, the rules r the rules it was a mistake on Camilo’s behalf, he didn’t know he had done wrong, but people calling in, no 1 likes a snitch.”

But Harrington on Friday said he saw nothing wrong with viewers having a role in keeping golfers honest.

“I’m comfortable with the whole idea that there’s people there watching, and I believe when I’m on the golf course I’m not going to do anything untoward,” he said. “I hope that this many people watch The European Tour. I hope there’s 100 million people watching me play and checking me out. It’s good for the game.”

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.