Wie loses classic rules debate

By Randall MellMarch 29, 2010, 6:33 am

Rarely has a six-shot runaway victory ended with so much tension.

We can thank Michelle Wie and LPGA rules officials for that.

Hee Kyung Seo easily won Sunday's Kia Classic, but Wie was center stage in some unexpected televised theater. With Golf Channel rolling live, we got to watch and listen to Wie’s passionate appeal over whether she deserved a two-shot penalty for grounding her club in a hazard at the 11th hole.

“I don’t feel like [the ruling] was right,” Wie told Golf Channel’s Val Skinner afterward.

In review, Wie was five shots off the lead when she hit her ball into the water’s edge near the 11th green. With her right foot in the water and left foot on the bank, she barely splashed the ball onto the shore. After water cascaded over her, and after finishing her swing, she set her club onto the ground with her left hand, within the red hazard line. Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill quickly saw the problem and pointed out the potential rules violation. Analyst Judy Rankin weighed in, explaining that it would not be a penalty if Wie was using the club to catch her balance.

Not long after holing out at the 11th for what she thought was a par save, Wie was informed that she incurred a two-shot penalty for grounding her club. After the round, in a Golf Channel truck, Wie and rules officials engaged in a classic golf rules debate.

Wie conceded that it did not look as if she was using the club to help her catch her balance -- it did not look that way -- but that she actually was. She raised some good points in whether rules officials were making assumptions of facts they could not know. If you’re into the rules, it was a classic encounter into a gray area.

“I know what it looks like, but it was a really slippery spot,” Wie told officials. “It seems really unfair because I know I was off balance.”

Wie said the splash of water caused her to close her eyes, and set the club down instinctively to feel her balance.

“You were not me, and you can’t give me a penalty for what it looks like,” Wie pleaded with cameras rolling. “You don’t know for a fact that I was not off balance.”

LPGA rules chief Doug Brecht told Wie he and two other rules officials could see no evidence that she was off balance. Without two shots deducated, Wie's score would have tied her for second instead of sixth. The difference in prize money would have been about $91,000.

If you were watching, who do you think was right? Wie? Or the rules officials?

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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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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm