Notes Poulters unusual tweet Leftys deuces wild

By Associated PressJune 21, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' Ian Poulter has been Twittering all week at the U.S. Open, but Sunday might have been the most unusual tweet of them all. He posted a picture of his golf ball on the 10th fairway, speckled with mud.
 
Poulter has been critical of the USGA this week for not allowing preferred lies (lift, clean and place) in wet conditions.
 
Perfect drive on 10th 235 yards to go into the wind. And thats what you getPerfect 3 wood straight into a bunker, he tweeted.
 
That means he had to take a picture of his golf ball with his cell phone during the round.
 
But the USGA said it was not a violation.
 
As long as its not being used to gather information that would help him, USGA rules official Wendy Uzelac said.
 
She referred to Rule 14-3, which covers artificial devices, unusual equipment and unusual use of equipment that cannot help a player in making a stroke or in his play and for the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play.
 

 
NOTHING MAKING SENSE: The third round of a major championship has traditionally been known as Moving Day.
 
The third round of this years U.S. Open didnt earn that title for a couple of reasons: It took two days to complete, and nobody did much moving.
 
With Ricky Barnes and Lucas Glover holding on to the top two spots among the 60 golfers who made the cut by shooting even-par rounds of 70, the stage was set for a possible big move, but there were only eight rounds below par, the best of them a 67 by Bubba Watson that got him to 1 under for the tournament, seven strokes behind Barnes.
 
Hes playing great. Its obvious hes having a great week. Hes hanging on there, Watson said of Barnes. You never know. Its out there. You could shoot under par. Its just youve got to putt good and hopefully you dont get any mud balls.
 
The other players to break par in the third round were Hunter Mahan, Retief Goosen, Johan Edfors and Tiger Woods, who had 68s, and Ross Fisher, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell, who had 69s.
 

 
BIG DIFFERENCE: The Sunday of last years U.S. Open ended with Rocco Mediate thrust into a warm national spotlight as he finished 72 holes tied with Tiger Woods. Even though Woods prevailed in a 19-hole playoff the next day, Mediate became a favorite of those rooting for golfs everyman.
 
This years Open was quite different for Mediate, who will again be playing on Monday, but this time simply to conclude the rain-delayed tournament.
 
After opening with a 2-under 68, Mediate made the 60-man cut by three strokes with a 141 total. But he shot a 79 in the third round and his 220 total left him tied for 58th with one round to play.
 

 
TEN-STROKE SWING: Nick Taylor went from tying an Open record for an amateur in the second round to having the worst score of the three nonprofessionals who made the cut in the third.
 
Taylor, a native of Canada who was first-team All-America at the University of Washington last season, shot a 5-under 65 in the second round, matching the lowest round ever by an amateur in the U.S. Open.
 
On Sunday, he finished a 5-over 75 that was one stroke behind Drew Weaver and Kyle Stanley, the only other amateurs to make the cut. Taylor entered the final round with a 213 total, two strokes better than Weaver and five ahead of Stanley.
 

 
DEUCES WILD: Look out for Phil Mickelson on the par 3s in the final round.
 
In the first round, Mickelson had one 2 on his card, at No. 17. In the second round he upped up that to two birdies, on Nos. 8 and 17. In the third round he went one better, making birdies on Nos. 3, 8 and 14. He had a run of four straight birdies on the par 3s starting with No. 17 in the second round and he just missed adding to that, leaving a 15-foot attempt on the edge on the 17th.
 

 
CROWD FAN: The galleries on hand for the two times the U.S. Open has been played at Bethpage Black have taken their share of criticism for treading on the line between funny and foul.
 
The crowds are definitely different in New York, but I think its good and gets you going as a player, Northern Ireland native Graeme McDowell said Sunday. I certainly enjoy a wee bit of energy and shouting, and the players like to get involved in that. I dont like it if it gets abusive, obviously, and I know certain players in the past have had a hard time from the New York crowds. But sometimes it has to get close to the line to make it fun. Im lucky to have been on the right side of that so far.
 

 
OPEN FALLOUT: The rain delays have had quite a ripple effect.
 
Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade were to host the CVS Charity Classic, which has raised more than $12 million for New England charities, but found themselves searching for replacements.
 
The two-day event starts Monday, with Camilo Villegas and Bubba Watson as the defending champions. Both made the cut at the Open and will be at Bethpage Black until they finish.
 
Others who signed up for the charity event and made the Open cut were Todd Hamilton, Retief Goosen and Anthony Kim.
 
The five players will be replaced by PGA Tour professionals Brad Adamonis, Matt Kuchar and David Toms and LPGA professionals Laura Diaz and Brittany Lincicome.
 
Unfortunately, the rain delays at the U.S. Open have forced us to make a difficult decision, Andrade and Faxon said in a statement. We wish these five players the best of luck at the U.S. Open and hope that their schedules permit them to play in a future CVS Caremark Charity Classic.
 
The Telus World Skins in Quebec City scrambled to put together a five-man exhibition match Monday, adding Padraig Harrington, Michael Campbell and Chris DiMarco after they missed the cut at Bethpage. Fred Couples and Quebec-based pro Remi Bouchard also will play.
 
The skins competition, originally set for nine holes both Monday and Tuesday, is now scheduled for 18 holes on Tuesday, with Mike Weir, Sergio Garcia, Geoff Ogilvy and Ian Poulter joining Couples.
 

 
STOCK TIP: Stewart Cink had a Twitter message for fathers and stock players on Sunday morning once play was delayed long enough to require a Monday finish.
 
Dads Day gift to all: I was supposed to ring opening bell on Wall St in the morn but now Ill be finishing up USOpen. Black Monday Averted!
 
Related Links:
  • Full U.S. Open Scores
  • Full Coverage - The 109th U.S. Open
  • Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.

    Good time to hang up on viewer call-ins

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 7:40 pm

    Golf announced the most massive layoff in the industry’s history on Monday morning.

    Armchair referees around the world were given their pink slips.

    It’s a glorious jettisoning of unsolicited help.

    Goodbye and good riddance.

    The USGA and R&A’s announcement of a new set of protocols Monday will end the practice of viewer call-ins and emails in the reporting of rules infractions.

    “What we have heard from players and committees is ‘Let’s leave the rules and administration of the event to the players and those responsible for running the tournament,’” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior director of rules and amateur status.

    Amen.

    The protocols, formed by a working group that included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America, also establish the use of rules officials to monitor the televised broadcasts of events.

    Additionally, the protocols will eliminate the two-shot penalty when a player signs an incorrect scorecard because the player was unaware of a violation.



    Yes, I can hear you folks saying armchair rules officials help make sure every meaningful infraction comes to light. I hear you saying they make the game better, more honest, by helping reduce the possibility somebody violates the rules to win.

    But at what cost?

    The chaos and mayhem armchair referees create can ruin the spirit of fair play every bit as much as an unreported violation. The chaos and mayhem armchair rules officials create can be as much a threat to fair play as the violations themselves.

    The Rules of Golf are devised to protect the integrity of the game, but perfectly good rules can be undermined by the manner and timeliness of their enforcement.

    We have seen the intervention of armchair referees go beyond the ruin of fair play in how a tournament should be conducted. We have seen it threaten the credibility of the game in the eyes of fans who can’t fathom the stupidity of a sport that cannot separate common-sense enforcement from absolute devotion to the letter of the law.

    In other sports, video review’s timely use helps officials get it right. In golf, video review too often makes it feel like the sport is getting it wrong, because timeliness matters in the spirit of fair play, because the retroactive nature of some punishments are as egregious as the violations themselves.  

    We saw that with Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this year.

    Yes, she deserved a two-shot penalty for improperly marking her ball, but she didn’t deserve the two-shot penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had no idea she was signing an incorrect scorecard.

    We nearly saw the ruin of the U.S. Open at Oakmont last year, with Dustin Johnson’s victory clouded by the timing of a video review that left us all uncertain if the tournament was playing out under an incorrect scoreboard.

    “What these protocols are put in place for, really, is to make sure there are measures to identify the facts as soon as possible, in real time, so if there is an issue to be dealt with, that it can be handled quickly and decisively,” Pagel said.

    Amen again.

    We have pounded the USGA for making the game more complicated and less enjoyable than it ought to be, for creating controversy where common sense should prevail, so let’s applaud executive director Mike Davis, as well as the R&A, for putting common sense in play.

    Yes, this isn’t a perfect answer to handling rules violations.

    There are trap doors in the protocols that we are bound to see the game stumble into, because the game is so complex, but this is more than a good faith effort to make the game better.

    This is good governance.

    And compared to the glacial pace of major rules change of the past, this is swift.

    This is the USGA and R&A leading a charge.

    We’re seeing that with the radical modernization of the Rules of Golf scheduled to take effect in 2019. We saw it with the release of Decision 34/3-10 three weeks after Thompson’s loss at the ANA, with the decision limiting video review to “reasonable judgment” and “naked eye” standards. We’re hearing it with Davis’ recent comments about the “horrible” impact distance is having on the game, leading us to wonder if the USGA is in some way gearing up to take on the golf ball.

    Yes, the new video review protocols aren’t a panacea. Rules officials will still miss violations that should have been caught. There will be questions about level playing fields, about the fairness of stars getting more video review scrutiny than the rank and file. There will be questions about whether viewer complaints were relayed to rules officials.

    Golf, they say, isn’t a game of perfect, and neither is rules enforcement, though these protocols make too much sense to be pilloried. They should be applauded. They should solve a lot more problems than they create.

    Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”