Overturned ruling allows Laird to keep playing

By Associated PressSeptember 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
BMW ChampionshipST. LOUIS ' Bart Bryant was penalized two shots for opening his mouth.
 
The twofold ruling that nearly got Martin Laird disqualified and wound up costing Bryant was over a pitch mark on the par-3 16th late in the second round Saturday morning at the BMW Championship.
 
Lairds tee shot on the par 3 landed on the fringe and rolled to 3 feet. Bryants shot came up just short in the rough, some 50 feet from the flag.
 
As they approached the green, Laird noticed the pitch mark left by his tee shot and went to tamp it down.
 
I said, Is this in your line? Laird said after a long and troublesome day.
 
As the rookie from Scotland punched down the grass with his club, Bryant told him that indeed, it was in his line between the ball and the flag. It did not affect the shot because Bryants play was to chip well over the mark.
 
No matter.
 
Slugger White, the PGA TOUR's vice president of rules and competition, said a decision related to Rule 1-2 does not allow Laird to improve a competitors line. That ordinarily would be a two-shot penalty ' disqualification in this case, because Laird already had signed his card ' but he was not penalized because the USGA deemed that he did not intend to help Bryant.
 
Bryant did not get off so easily.
 
He was guilty of Rule 13-2, which covers improve the lie, area of intended swing or stance or line of play. The rules says a player cannot improve the line or allow it to be improved.
 
By agreeing that the mark was in his line ' a simple Yes was all it took ' Bryant was assessed two shots. That turned a bogey into a triple bogey, turning a 66 into a 68.
 
I cant believe he got a two-shot penalty, Laird said.
 
White said he asked Bryant if there was any way to stop Laird from tamping down the pitch mark. Laird said he asked Bryant as he was in the process of fixing the mark with his putter.
 
Bart said to me, I cant look you in the eye and say in good conscience that I could have, White said. His integrity is amazing. Hes a classy guy.
 
As unfair as it sounds, Bryant made no excuses. Asked if he should have been penalized, he replied, Yes, because I broke the rules.
 
I didnt knowingly break the rule, he said with a gentle smile. I didnt even know that rule.
 
White conferred with the USGA as Laird stopped for lunch between the second and third round, and Laird teed off in the third round not knowing if he would be disqualified. He got word on the fourth hole that he was OK, but he started the third round with three bogeys and a double bogey over his first six holes.
 
Laird needs to finish the tournament to secure his PGA TOUR card for next year. He wound up with a 76 and was tied for 65th among 68 players.
 
Bryant earned a small measure of redemption. Four holes into the next round, he made a hole-in-one.
 
Thats good karma, Laird said. I told him, You got the two strokes back.
 
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  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.