Points DQd for using 'practice aid'

By Jason SobelFebruary 8, 2014, 4:33 am

D.A. Points was in the bathroom at Spanish Bay just before 6 p.m. PT on Friday, changing out of his golf clothes and preparing for dinner with his family, when he received a call from Mark Russell, the vice president of rules and competitions for the PGA Tour.

This was no friendly phone call. More than three hours after Points had finished a rain-soaked round of 3-over 75 at Pebble Beach, Russell was calling to inform the 2011 champion he’d been disqualified from the tournament.

While enduring what Points called a “15- 20-minute wait” on the iconic par-5 final hole, during which he and pro-am partner Condoleezza Rice even had time to snap a few photographs, Points pulled from his bag a spongy green ball he had been given by instructor Grant Waite a few weeks previously. Points placed the ball under his right arm to emulate a few swings. The act was caught on video by a spectator and the player was found in violation of Rule 14-3. The ensuing result was disqualification.

“We were standing on the tee; it’s cold, it’s raining,” Points explained to GolfChannel.com via phone. “I pull out the ball and make some dry practice swings, just trying to loosen up. I come to find out it’s an unusual training device, something you wouldn’t have in your bag.”

Had he instead used a headcover, towel or glove, Points wouldn’t have been in violation of the rule. Instead, it’s the fact that the spongy green ball doesn’t always reside in his golf bag that led to the violation.

Even nearly two hours after the ruling, he still sounded shellshocked.

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Articles, videos and photos

“It’s my fault for not knowing the rule and I own up to that,” he said. “But I don’t want people thinking I was using some sort of contraption or device. It’s just a green spongy ball. That’s it. It’s not something they sell online or anything.”

When Russell told Points they needed to discuss what happened on 18, the player initially didn’t even think of the spongy ball. Points explained that he hit his first tee shot out of bounds, reteed and wound up getting up and down to save bogey.

He never considered the fact he had broken Rule 14-3.

“I said, ‘Is that an issue?’ He said, ‘Yeah, it’s an issue,’” Points relayed. “I accept what I did was wrong, but it wasn’t intentional.”

The disqualification was a double whammy for Points. Because he didn’t know about the violation within 30 minutes after his round was completed, he wasn’t able to register for next week’s tournament, the Northern Trust Open. Had he known earlier, he would have entered himself in the field.

“I’m playing well,” said Points, who had been in a share of 60th place. “I didn’t have that amount of time to commit.”

Actually, make it a triple whammy. At 75th in the Official World Golf Ranking – and with at least three players already skipping the upcoming WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship – he had an outside chance to have a strong finish and qualify for that event.

“I needed a good week,” he sighed, “but it was certainly not out of my grasp.”

Points does, interestingly, remain eligible for the pro-am portion of this week’s tournament. He explained that he still intends to compete with Rice at Spyglass Hill on Saturday.

“It’s still an opportunity to play with her,” he said. “If maybe I can have a hot round and Condoleezza can play great, maybe I can help her move further up in the tournament.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

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. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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