DALY CITY, Calif. – Haru Nomura waited out a lengthy review of a possible rules infraction after Saturday’s round before signing her scorecard at the Swinging Skirts Classic.
Ultimately cleared of any violation, Nomura signed for a 1-under-par 71 to give her a three-shot lead going into the final round.
According to LPGA rules official Marty Robinson, a television viewer alerted the tour by email that Nomura might have built a stance in a greenside bunker at the sixth hole in violation of Rule 13-3.
Nomura found herself in an awkward spot near the lip of the bunker. With her left foot out of the bunker, she struggled to get a stance with her right foot in the bunker. She made a number of attempts to get a stance before hitting the shot.
“We were concerned enough to have Haru come to the trailer herself to explain what she was doing and why,” Robinson said. “As Haru was attempting to get her stance, she felt her feet slipping in that process, but after viewing it and talking to Haru we felt there was no breach of that rule.”
Robinson said there is gray area in the rule as to what constitutes building a stance in that type of situation, but the rules committee believed she was only trying to get a “firm stance,” not build a stance. He said a player is entitled to a “firm stance.”
Nomura said she wasn’t trying to build a stance.
“It was slopey,” she said through a translator. “I kept slipping downhill.
“When I had to do a practice swing, I had to swing real hard, and when I did, I kept moving forward, again and again. There was no option but to move like that, but they were saying that I was moving excessively. But what I was trying to tell them was, `OK, then what is the guideline?’ There should be some sort of a standard, a regulation, that explains what is and what isn’t an infraction. That’s what was going on.”