Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Cheating Scandal Big News in Europe
There isn't a lot golfers disapprove of (we are known to be the worst of people at times), but if you cheat at the game, that label will never, ever be bucked.
That's why Elliot Saltman of Scotland is fighting so hard to clear his name. At the Russian Challenge Cup, an event put on by the Challenge Tour (Nationwide of the European Tour), Saltman was accused of incorrectly marking his ball, and was kicked out of the event for doing so after both playing partners turned him in.
Incorrectly marking your ball means that a golfer is setting his ball down in a different spot than where the mark is. While recreational golfers do this all the time, mostly because they're lazy or don't really know it's a big deal anyway, at a professional level, every inch means a lot, so moving your ball slightly to get a better lie on the green could mean the difference in thousands of dollars one way or the other.
But Saltman knows what the label of cheat carries, and is trying his damnedest to clear his name.
"It affects not only me but my family," Saltman told The Scotsman. "Not one player has come up to me and asked me my side of the story. I don't want to be labelled as a cheat. Nobody wants that reputation. The sooner this gets sorted out the better. I thought it was dead and buried but I am 100 percent positive that we will get this resolved."
This is one of those things that takes a lot of trust to believe. If he was incorrectly marking his ball, you have to ask why, and that could bring about a lot of bad mojo. If it was just a misunderstanding, Saltman is doing exactly what he should do right now because if he doesn't, everyone will know his name.
Caddying on the LPGA this year, I heard a lot from players about certain ladies that bent the rules, and every player knew about it. On a tour where you're battling each other for your livelihood, you have a much better chance of being appreciated and liked if you cheat on your spouse than if you cheat on the game.