Should TV viewers be allowed to call in rules violations

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 8, 2011, 1:33 am

Camilo Villegas was disqualified from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions when a television viewer called in a penalty. Should the TV audience be allowed to call in rules violations? Editorial manager Mercer Baggs and associate editor Jon Levy weigh in with their opinions.


Television viewers should have the right to call rules infractions on tour players.

Golf prides itself on adherence to its rules, to ridiculous lengths. If the game is going to be played to the letter of the law then no mistake should go unpunished.

Of course, the sport should review and revise the Rules of Golf as it allows for enumerate unfair penalties. But if a player is allowed to be disqualified for failing to sign his scorecard – which has no bearing on his performance or equality to the field – then it should allow for penalties to be called during competition, regardless of who noticed the offense.

The TV audience isn't playing judge and jury – the rules are already in place; they're making citizen's arrests.

Don't blame the viewer; blame the player. The Rules of Golf may be more convoluted than the ObamaCare bill, but millions of dollars are on the line each week and players need to be held accountable. Ultimately, it's their fault.

Try putting down your twitter phone and picking up a rules book.

I don't much like the process and it's not wholly fair either, as some players may never be televised. But like has nothing to do with it, and whoever said rules were fair?


The rules are the rules are the rules. I get that. The game gets that. That’s why the U.S. Golf Association has extensive book of rules – to define the parameters of this game clearly.

Some sports use instant replay. In golf, all we have are those who play it and those who officiate it. Often, rules situations are a best guess on the truth.

Camilo Villegas broke rule 23-1 Thursday at Kapalua. But he didn’t report it – a viewer did, and so he got DQ’d. Sure, he broke the rules, but we need to draw a line in the sand because if we don’t, players are going to be stripped of titles like Reggie Bush his Heisman.

Villegas most likely didn’t know he broke a rule, but he clearly did and someone not involved with the tournament called him on it. We’re all refs when it comes to football and basketball games. That’s half the fun of it – to put in our two cents.

But golf is different and should remain so because by its own theory it’s a self-policing game.

So by the pure morals and integrity of the game the rules should be managed by those playing and those officiating only – not a pseudo rules official sitting on his or her couch.
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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.