Tiddlywinks blunder costly for Poulter

By Associated PressNovember 28, 2010, 8:23 pm

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Whoever knew dropping a golf ball could cost a player $400,000?

That’s just what happened to Englishman Ian Poulter on Sunday when he went to replace his ball on his marker – a lucky coin featuring his children’s names – and dropped it from a few inches above the ground, falling victim to one of golf’s more arcane rules.

The blunder cost Poulter a shot and helped Swede Robert Karlsson win $1.25 million at the Dubai World Championship, the final event of the European Tour season.

“The coin was one way and the next minute facing the other way,” Poulter said. “If it pitches in the middle, the coin doesn’t move and it’s fine, but it’s pitched on the front and it’s flipped over.”

Poulter’s second prize is impressive nonetheless at $833,000.

Poulter and Karlsson were locked in a playoff on the 18th hole of the Dubai Earth course after four rounds in the desert where both finished at 14 under. The first playoff hole was tied and on the second playoff hole – again on the 18th – Poulter left himself with a massive 40-foot putt while Karlsson’s chip to the green landed within 4 feet of the pin.

But as the English golfer marked his ball, it slipped from his grasp and fell on the marker, which jumped in the air and turned over.

Poulter let the match referee know immediately.

“Ian Poulter called me over just after he had marked the ball on the 18th and told me he had dropped his ball onto the ball marker which caused the ball marker to move, it just flipped over,” chief match referee Andy McFee said. “This incurred a one stroke penalty.”

So instead of trying to force another playoff hole, Poulter realized his putt was for a 5. Poulter shrugged, putted and missed, while Karlsson holed his short putt. The gallery of a couple of thousand spectators was unaware of the drama.

Rule 20-1/15 is the one that impacted Poulter.

“Any accidental movement of the ball marker which occurs before or after the specific act of marking, including as a result of dropping the ball, regardless of the height from which it was dropped … results in the player incurring a one stroke penalty,” McFee said in a statement.

Poulter insisted he would stick with the platinum coin despite Sunday’s events.

“It was my lucky coin that I made at the start of the year,” he said. “It’s still going to stay lucky.”

Karlsson said after the tournament ended that Poulter had told him of the ruling before they finished the second playoff hole, but he had not been sure the ruling would stand. Regardless, Karlsson’s putt was much shorter.

“These things happen in golf. It’s not the way you want to win,” the 41-year-old Swede said. “The rules are there for a reason but some of them can be tough.”

Poulter’s friend and rival Rory McIlroy was quick to see the funny side, even if Poulter’s mistake cost him more than $400,000.

He tweeted: “Poults may not have won the Dubai world championship, but he could be in with a shout for tiddlywinks world championship.”

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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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.