Intent Files: Matsuyama's Divot Fix Not Sitting Well
Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 09:21 PM
Geoff in 2018 PGA Tour, Rules

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.

 

It appears he knew what he was doing but the rules assume honesty. https://t.co/jX0ycT0Q8S

— Missy Jones (@missyjonjones) December 2, 2017

 

Article originally appeared on A blog devoted to the state of golf. (http://www.geoffshackelford.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.