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Palmer: Cejka DQ 'doesn’t look very good for' USGA

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Ryan Palmer shook his head watching Alex Cejka make history Thursday as the first PGA Tour player to be disqualified for breaking the Rules of Golf’s new interpretation limiting greens reading materials.

Not for the reason you might think, though.

Palmer dislikes the new rule for the half measure it represents.

“I think it’s B.S., to be honest,” Palmer said.

Palmer doesn’t like greens reading materials.

“I never care to use them,” he said.

And he didn’t like the compromise the USGA came up with limiting the scale of the grids in the new greens reading materials.

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“My feeling was either allow them [as they were], or get rid of them,” Palmer said. “The USGA guy sat there and told us he wanted us to putt with our feet and eyes. I questioned why we had greens books at all.

“This is another incident that doesn’t look very good for them.”

Palmer wasn’t aware Cejka was using illegal materials, until Tringale shared his suspicion.

“It was an unfortunate situation,” Tringale said.

Tringale told after Friday’s round that he caught a glimpse inside of Cejka’s book as he scooted around him while reading a putt on the sixth green in the first round.

The scale didn’t look right, Tringale said.

“My first thought was, `Did I really just see that?’” Tringale said. “My second thought was, `What exactly is the rule?’”

He wasn’t certain how to proceed, so he left it up to rules official Robby Ware on the 10th hole.

“He took it from there,” Tringale said.

At the 13th hole, Ware intervened and discovered Cejka was using an old greens reading book, with grid scales larger than allowed by the new rules. The new interpretation limits images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480) or smaller. 

Cejka was DQ’d at the 14th hole.

Palmer wasn’t sure if Cejka knew he was in violation or not.

“He seemed kind of clueless to the whole situation,” Palmer said. “I don’t know if he knew or not.”