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Saturday
Dec022017

Intent Files: Matsuyama's Divot Fix Not Sitting Well

I've heard from many who are still very annoyed that 2017 Hero World Challenge participant Hideki Matsuyama escaped penalty for repairing a divot as chunked chip rolled back toward the dreaded crater.

Because we've introduced intent into the rules--something the experts warned would create problems in situations like this--Matsuyama was able to say he did not intend to improve his forthcoming lie. It's a similar slippery slope golf has encountered with the backstopping movement where players say they are just intending to speed up play.

A few years ago this was a penalty and we had several instances in tournament golf where a player mistakenly improved the ground without intent (and typically out of frustration). But they still were penalized.

Matsuyama has gotten away with one here:

 

we would’ve stomped that chili 🌶 as well @tgrliveevents #hidekimatsuyama ✊🏽 #golfrules #golfisfun

A post shared by golf humbles everyone (@varygolf) on Dec 1, 2017 at 3:01pm PST

 

But as Missy Jones noted in answering a reader, we have to assume honesty.

 

 

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Reader Comments (48)

The 2012 change didn't introduce the concept of intent to Rule 1-2 (though it appears to have revealed that concept to you and that's a good thing).
12.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Carl, the word "intent" was added in 2012, and that changed how the rule is read and applied. But hey, maybe the guys who actually wrote the rules don't know what they were talking about when they discussed this with us… :P

Is there intent when you do something "to influence" something else? Yes. I've never said there isn't. But they specifically added the word "intent" to change the rule slightly. According to the USGA, anyway.

So stop arguing. I've said "the word intent" or put the word "intent" in quotes. I've never said intent wasn't already in there.
12.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski
As I said, I'm just glad that those very skilled rules writers managed to make the rule clear enough for you to understand,
12.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
And as I've said, they CHANGED the rule when they added "intent" in 2012. They said so themselves.
12.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski
Can you imagine needing a ruling in a tournament and in the distance you see a golf cart appearing and as it gets closer you realize it's Carl Peterson. You explain the situation but this guy wants you to know how smart he is and refuses to listen. This is his big opportunity and he's going to show guys who can break par that he, a hack that is jealous of good players, has the power. Send this man to the PGA Club Pro Championship.
12.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLema's Ghost
It would be terrific if the sight of my golf cart instilled such fear -- maybe then those wonderful players would go ahead and learn a rule or two and apply them on their own i.e., without interrupting my hard-earned nap or 17th visit to the hospitality area.
12.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Aha, you were the one they were talking about at the last USGA meeting. Interesting. Tell us about the port-o-john incident?
12.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLema's Ghost
I doubt it was me -- I usually get an e-mail or two when that occurs. Thanks for the reminder about the port-a-john story, you inspired me to go back and read some of the messages that were inspired by that incident.
12.6.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson

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