ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Last month the R&A and USGA released what was seen in many circles as a kinder edition to the Rules of Golf.
Among the changes was an addition to Rule 14-3 that would have kept D.A. Points from being disqualified from the 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
During the second round two years ago at Pebble Beach, Points used a training aid – a spongy green ball – during a lengthy wait on the 18th tee and later found out he’d been disqualified for violating Rule 14-3.
The new edition softens the rule, giving players a two-stroke penalty for a first violation.
“Disqualification on most levels is really, really harsh,” Points said on Monday at the RSM Classic. “Sometimes intent should be considered. I obviously wasn’t hiding anything, I was standing in front of a camera doing it.”
The R&A and USGA also softened the rule on players returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken if it’s the result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player was not aware of when he signed his scorecard.
“The fact that I could have used almost anything else in my entire golf bag other than that little green ball [and not been penalized]. I asked the official, ‘If the other 155 guys in the field had one of these balls in their bag would I have been disqualified?’ He said, ‘Probably not,’” Points said.
“I was disappointed because I would never try to do something like that. I appreciate the USGA is trying to figure out that disqualification on a lot of levels is really harsh.”