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.