RA Rolls Out New Etiquette Policies

By Associated PressOctober 30, 2003, 5:00 pm
SOTOGRANGE, Spain -- Golfers behaving badly could be disqualified under an expanded section of etiquette in the latest edition of the Rules of Golf next year.
I think there was a concern that standards have fallen, David Rickman, rules secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, said Oct. 30.
We set out standards high, and we make no apology for that, he said. We simply want to ensure that this remains the case.
The Rules of Golf is reviewed every four years by the R&A and the U.S. Golf Association. The next edition is effective Jan. 1.
Defining bad behavior is subject to interpretation.
Ginger Fahleson, manager of rules education for the USGA, said a breach likely would be someone who is intentionally disruptive and offensive, or a player who intentionally affects the play of his competitors.
Typically, it would have to be a multiple offense before they get to the disqualification penalty, she said.
It would not necessarily apply to a player who slams his club out of frustration.
A paragraph on the spirit of the game has been added to Rule 33, which deals with etiquette.
Unlike many sports golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire, it says. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.
This is the spirit of the game of golf.
Other penalties for violating etiquette guidelines allow for suspending players for a number of tournaments, and disqualification if the violation is deemed serious.
The etiquette section was part of the largest revision of the Rules of Golf in 20 years.
In other changes:
Club lengths now have a 48-inch limit (except for putters), while the maximum clubhead size for drivers will be 470cc.
Professionals wishing to be reinstated as amateurs will have to wait two years, instead of three years.
Rickman said there was nothing in the rules regarding the scorecard incident that led to Mark Roe of England being disqualified from the final round of the British Open, although changes were likely at next years championship.
Roe shot 67 in the third round and would have been two shots out of the lead and playing in the final group with Tiger Woods.
But Roe and Jesper Parnevik forgot to exchange cards, so Roes 67 was written on Parneviks card, and the Swedes 81 was placed on Roes card.
Both were disqualified.
The Open recording process is being reviewed, and there is every prospect it will be different next year, Rickman said.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.