Flawed process: LPGA Rules Official

mulligan, 18 October 2005, Comments Off on Flawed process: LPGA Rules Official
Categories: Uncategorized

One consistent criticism that I’ve heard about the whole Michelle Wie fiasco is that the LPGA Rules Official Robert O. Smith used a dubious process of forcing Michelle to “recreate” on Sunday where she found her ball in a bush on Saturday and then where she dropped her ball. This “recreation” was meant to compensate for what Smith himself admitted was “inconclusive” videotape and the complete absence of any divot on Sunday where Michelle Wie hit her ball on Saturday. I agree: there are so many things glaringly wrong about this recreation.

Just imagine this: a rain delay forces the suspension of play on Saturday at the tournament. Instead of marking their golf balls, all the players just make a mental note of where their balls were on Saturday, picking up their ball but leaving no physical mark of where their ball stood. Play resumes on Sunday. The players go back out on the golf course, after having a good 8 hours of sleep and a hearty breakfast. Would you trust the memories of the players to replace their balls in the exact position from Saturday? In fact, the Rules of Golf (Rule 6-8c) prohibit it — no doubt recognizing that, without a mark, all of this “recreation” is just guesswork, at best.


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