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Lewis's 2-Shot Penalty: Not Much Grey Area Here

Randall Mell reports on Stacy Lewis' potentially expensive 2-stroke penalty Saturday at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, leaving her four back of Ai Miyazato.

The clear violation of Rule 13-4 was the product of caddie Travis Wilson testing a bunker surface.

She was penalized when rules officials determined in a video review that Travis Wilson, Lewis’ caddie, tested the surface of a hazard with his right foot when he walked into a bunker off the fairway on the 16th hole.

Television viewers contacted both Golf Channel and LPGA officials questioning whether there was a violation. That led to LPGA rules officials taking Lewis and Wilson to review the video after the round.

Beth Ann Baldry says Lewis took the mistake in stride, even as it makes her task of reaching the No. 1 spot in the world a lot tougher Sunday.

“More than anything I just feel bad for him because he feels awful,” Lewis said. “But he's the best caddie out here, so we'll be fine. We still have a chance to win tomorrow.”

You can see the violation at the 10:40 mark of the Golf Central highlight package. It's pretty clear from the conversation overheard that Lewis was unsure how the sand would play and is just as much at fault as her caddie.

Also of interest is the analysis from Judy Rankin, Jerry Foltz and Terry Gannon at the 12:00 minute mark or so.

Lewis was a class act all the way in her post round interview:

If it's any consolation, golfers still probably know their rules better than tennis' top players, as evidenced by this Douglas Robson story sent in by reader Matt.

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Reader Comments (11)

The audio did them in
03.16.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Spachler
If you play enough golf, you are going to make some mistakes. She handled it well, add 2 and move on.
Good luck to Stacy and the very cute Ai MIyazato today. Should be a shoot out.
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick
Not to thread-jack...but speaking of LPGA...did anyone see Wie's putting stance?...yikes!
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Wie's putting stance is clearly horrifically desperate--but apparently Adam Scott had a terrible day with his anchored putter and cost himself the lead over at the PGA event that Geoff hasn't mentioned.
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim S
When something interesting happens, I'll blog about it!
03.17.2013 | Registered CommenterGeoff
This Lewis girl is a class act.
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Yes, she is. Go Stacy!
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
When players dig their feet into the sand prior to hitting a bunker shot, what are they doing other than testing the firmness of the sand?
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Norrie
Another penalty called on a player from a sofa thousands of miles away. Everyone with any sense knows the Rules of Golf are stuck in the 1800's and ned to be revised. Please spare me the nonsense about perserving the integrity of the game. That has already been compromised, for the better, by the advances in equipment and course conditions. Rules in every game are constantly evolving to keep pace with the times and it is about time Golf did also.
03.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterwrs
I was skeptical about the penalty until I went back and watched that portion of the telecast again from my DVR. Travis kind of patted the surface with his right foot, and then, as noted by commenter Carl Spachler, he mentioned to Stacy that she would get some bounce off of the surface, it wouldn't dig in -- so the audio did him in.

It was quite obvious that the sand in the bunker was very firm. The telecast had a good shot of the ball rolling up and across the left face of the bunker before coming to rest on the flat, and the near-total absence of a track from the ball, and the way the ball was sitting up nice and high, told you all you needed to know about the surface -- which Stacy would have sensed just by walking to her ball. If Travis had stayed out of the bunker and still given her the same advice everything would have been fine. I'll bet he never goes into a bunker again -- except to rake it after Stacy takes her shot!

It's too bad that Travis had that mental lapse that cost his player two shots, but the way she handled the situation, and then overcame the penalty to win the tournament and claim the World #1 spot, speaks legions about this young lady. Stacy Lewis is The Real Deal...
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterWill o'the Glen

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