After the Year of the Armchair Rules Official in 2011, it would seem most people would tire of another story about a fan trying to enforce the game’s rules from afar. In this instance, however, a fan helped Karrie Webb avoid a two-stroke penalty in the opening round of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, according to the Aussie paper, The Age.
On the 13th green at Royal Melbourne on Thursday, Webb’s playing partner Yani Tseng asked the Aussie legend to move her ball mark. Webb complied, Tseng putted and Webb replaced her marker – in the opposite direction.
Noticing this, a fan shouted out from the gallery, “Excuse me!”
Webb realized what the fan was communicating, moved her marker back to the original spot and putted out. Had she not replaced her marker properly and then hit the putt, it would have left Webb with a triple-bogey 7 on the short par-4. Instead, she made a 5.
''Yani had asked me to move my marker and when I went to move it back, I told myself, 'You've got to move it towards you,’” Webb said.
“I was just about to pull the trigger and he spoke up, which really caught me off guard. In the end it saved a two-shot penalty. It was quite courageous of him, to speak up, and I'm thankful for it.”
For his gusto, the fan received the ball Webb had just putted.