Thursday, April 7, 2011

For Once, USGA and R&A Make Logically Decision on Disqualification Rules


Some very interesting news out of New Jersey RIGHT before the Masters kicked off on Thursday morning, as the USGA and R&A have decided to help out players that have been getting disqualified for rules they didn't even know they broke.

Like Camilo Villegas earlier this season, players will not be disqualified anymore for breaching a penalty they didn't know they breached when they sign their scorecard, basically ending the era of television viewers ruining a player's week. Here is the official rule change, in law form ...

This revision to Decision 33-7/4.5 addresses the situation where a player is not aware he has breached a Rule because of facts that he did not know and could not reasonably have discovered prior to returning his scorecard. Under this revised decision and at the discretion of the Committee, the player still receives the penalty associated with the breach of the underlying Rule, but is not disqualified.

So, basically, if you do something you didn't know you did, and someone calls you on it well after the round is over, you won't be disqualified. Humm, sounds like something a really intelligent person thought of months ago.

Anyway, this is great, and great news for the Masters, since you can watch coverage of the event on everything besides your George Foreman Grill at this point. The most eyes of the year will be on this tournament, and with slick greens that are sometimes even tough to mark, it's probably the right time to announce such a decision.

I'm glad the USGA and R&A decided to do this sooner than later, because every few months something like this was going to pop up, and it just never seemed fair to the players.

Well played, and let the Masters begin!

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