Chella Choi withdrew from the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open on Friday after disagreeing with a penalty that rules officials were set to assess following the completion of her second round, according to the LPGA.
Choi improperly returned her ball to its mark on the 10th green, LPGA officials determined after a video review. Rules officials confronted Choi with the violation after she completed play. The tour became aware of the violation after a television viewer of the extended Canadian broadcast called to report it. Golf Channel and Canada’s TSN are televising the event.
The two-stroke penalty would ultimately have caused Choi to miss the cut by a shot.
“The player did not agree and decided to withdraw from the competition,” LPGA rules official Dan Maselli told GolfChannel.com in an email response to a request for an explanation of the violation. “She gave no reason for the withdrawal.”
A review of the television broadcast showed that when cleaning up a short putt at the 10th hole, Choi placed down her mark so that her ball was resting on the right side of the mark. After briefly picking up her ball, Choi puts her ball down on the left side of the mark, moving it over an inch or so.
“The player lifted her ball, and when replacing her ball put the ball not in the same place from which it was lifted,” Maselli explained. “That is a violation of Rule 16-1b, which carries a two-stroke penalty if the mistake is not corrected before the stroke (Rule 20-6).”
TSN reported that Choi was taken to the TV compound to view a replay of the improper mark. The network reported that Choi “refused to accept” the two-shot penalty and did not sign her scorecard, choosing to withdraw, instead.
Choi’s improper mark at the 10th hole changed the nature of the cut on Friday, leading to 87 players making the cut, with threesomes required to accommodate the large field on Saturday. Without the violation, Choi would have been among about 70 players to make the cut.
GolfChannel.com submitted a request with the LPGA Saturday to speak to Choi, but she could not immediately be reached for comment.