Lexi Fallout: Golf's Five Families Convene At Augusta...
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 02:48 AM
Geoff in 2017 Masters, PGA Tour, PGA of America, R&A, Rules, USGA

"How did things ever get so far?"

"This Lexi business is going to destroy us for years go come."

I'm paraphrasing of course, but it's fun to imagine the professional tours--which let their players play slow, mark their golf balls constantly (unless it's a backboard for a playing partners)--whining about the Rules of Golf not having addressed issues related to HD and DVR's.

But as Jaime Diaz reported in Golf World, the Corleonie's, Barzini's and Tattaglia's of golf got together to bark at each other about Lexi Thompson's penalty at the ANA Inspiration.

There were intense exchanges in which tour leaders, worried about the perception of their products, argued that rules changes were needed posthaste to stop situations that fans and even players found unfair and nonsensical. The most aggrieved party was the LPGA, and its commissioner Mike Whan, who had publicly called the Thompson ruling “embarrassing.”

“I understand Mike’s perspective,” USGA executive director Mike Davis said. “This was hard on Lexi Thompson, and hard on Mike Whan. But it was not bad for the game, because this is exactly the kind of dialogue that good change comes out of.”

Something tells me that did not give Commissioner Whan a warm, fuzzy feeling.

And this is why we still have cause for concern, just as we did in the days after the Lexi situation.

Golf’s leaders hope that the public will come to regard the rules as better reflections of common sense and fairness. But ultimately, it’s unavoidable that they will be applied on a case-by-case basis.

In Thompson’s case, even under a new standard of intent and reasonable judgment, it’s not clear that she would have not been penalized. As the video shows, Thompson missed replacing on the correct spot by about half a ball. Half a ball doesn’t seem like a lot, but especially on a short putt, it constitutes a pretty bad mark.

Closed circuit cameras caught the meeting:

 

 

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