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LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:24 am

Posted by hursty


Another controversial decision by rules officials have this time cost a player a Major title.

Where the LPGA right or wrong?
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:26 pm

Posted by DCB


Not convinced that a tv viewer should be able to influence a situation like this.

However, once the rules official at the tournament had been made aware, then the only course of action was to apply the relevant rules to the transgressions. Having watched the clip on Golf Digest web site, the ball is most definitely not placed back in the same position. Hopefully it was down to being careless as the ball was replaced, but, it was a major brain fart if that was the case.

Playing devils advocate here, but, what if that 1" to the left meant she avoided an old spike mark or scuff mark on her line......  I'm not saying that was what she did, but, 1" could certainly make a putt a lot easier if it gave a slightly better line.

Hopefully she'll have learned from this and hopefully so will others.

Until such time as the Rules of Golf are modified to stop this happening, it's only a matter of time before someone elses gets caught out on a "silly" infringement
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:10 pm

Posted by eddzoid


Correct decision, wrong way to get to it though. After Saltmangate from a few years ago, I try to keep an eye on where my opponent or partner are marking the ball. Everyone in the group has to help & assist, so that incidents like these don't happen.
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:10 pm

Posted by TheJoshuaTree


DCB wrote:

Not convinced that a tv viewer should be able to influence a situation like this.


I agree with that.

Also rules should work along side common sense, they shouldn't be set in stone. She never gained any advantage as the ball wasn't moved closer to the hole, it was just slightly to the side of the marker and i mean slightly. 

I find it pathetic really, the sport is too tied down in rules and officialdom, common sense never seems to prevail in situations like this. 
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:02 pm

Posted by Halebopp


Definitely right!

Had she walked away from the ball mark and come back later to replace it, such an omission might've not been an issue. But she's lifting the ball, moving her hand to the left and putting the ball straight back down again.

Maybe there was a spike mark beneath the original spot and she was trying to get away from it, maybe she made a simple mistake. What we do know is she didn't replace the ball in a situation where it would've been very easy to do so (or at least make a much better attempt). Maybe she does it out of a habit in case there is a spike mark beneath the ball?

As for arm chair refs calling in and it not being fair that people have a better chance of catching the top players who're shown on TV breaking the rules and everyone doesn't get an equal treatment. To me it's like saying the police shouldn't fine a driver for speeding because there might be someone else on the road speeding but not getting caught. Even a single violator caught is better than none, not only does it limit the actions of that person, it also sends out a message to everyone else. Not penalizing a player for such a breach would in fact penalize everyone else playing in the tournament and like has been said, the tournament committee's hands were tied once they were informed.

If you want to say "she didn't gain an advantage", I'd like to hear where you'd draw the line? The less subjective calls there are, the better we're off. Figuring out whether there was a serious breach in playing from a wrong place or not is enough of a task in the case of playing from a wrong place.

Also, I'd hate to be the guy sitting at home and noticing a rules breach and not being able to do anything about it. Especially if that person wrongly wins the event, especially a major.

Lastly, I'd probably change the rules so that you could repair spike marks beneath your ball when it's lying on the green. To save time I might not allow it elsewhere on the green though.
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:51 pm

Posted by hursty


Interesting points, my first thought was that she spotted something either on the line or under the ball, why else would she be about to knock it on then mark it to replace almost instantly? If she makes it to compose herself then she would have stepped away from the putt and gone last.

As for the repairing of spike marks, isn't that one of the reccomended changes for the new rules in 2019? If so then you could mark your ball in any manner so as to get access to the spike mark as long as the ball was replaced in the same spot?
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:58 pm

Posted by Kevmc


100% correct decision, however it should have been highlighted by officials before she signed Card, even then if it was noticed after card was signed then not her fault, a 2 shot penalty would have been a harsh but fair answer, a double punishment was extreme.

viewers shouldn't have a say in rules regardless of right or wrong.
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:14 pm

Posted by Halebopp


hursty wrote:

Interesting points, my first thought was that she spotted something either on the line or under the ball, why else would she be about to knock it on then mark it to replace almost instantly? If she makes it to compose herself then she would have stepped away from the putt and gone last.

As for the repairing of spike marks, isn't that one of the reccomended changes for the new rules in 2019? If so then you could mark your ball in any manner so as to get access to the spike mark as long as the ball was replaced in the same spot?


Yes, they've proposed allowing spike marks and whatnot to be repaired on the green. One of the big worries is that it might cause pace of play issues as the players spend time preparing perfect lines for their putts. As a decent compromise you could be allowed to fix anything beneath your ball so that the ball won't take off bouncing uncontrollably after the stroke.

Last year in our referee training the teacher (a guy who's refereed at The Open and the U.S. Open) asked us how do you tell amateurs from a pro? Ask them whether or not a mark on the green is a ball mark. The pro won't even glance at it but replies yes while the amateurs walk over and start a lengthy discussion on the subject.

Also, my old club had a pro who had won on the PGA Tour a couple of times and was a runner up at the Masters once. He taught me to always mark my ball on the green just for the reason that when I replace it, I can put it slightly to the side of any possible blemishes beneath the original position. I'm not sure I'd agree with him about the habit but maybe it's a bit of a common practice on the tour and that's why some players are jumping on the ruling.
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:07 pm

Posted by Halebopp


Kevmc wrote:

100% correct decision, however it should have been highlighted by officials before she signed Card, even then if it was noticed after card was signed then not her fault, a 2 shot penalty would have been a harsh but fair answer, a double punishment was extreme.

viewers shouldn't have a say in rules regardless of right or wrong.


Rule 6-1: The player and his caddie are responsible for knowing the Rules.
Rule 20-3: The ball must be placed on the spot from which it was lifted or moved.

Of course there's some leeway and usually one's best effort of placing the ball as accurately as possible is enough (as with estimating entry points into water hazards etc.) but in Lexi's case, even a blind monkey could've done a better job. :D

Considering the whole point of a competition is to see who can get around the course with the fewest strokes, reporting a score lower than what you actually shot is a huge breach in my books (remember 6-1). In my opinion the two-shot extra penalty is a very generous offer for the instances where a player isn't aware of a penalty s/he has incurred.

Also, golf is very much a self-regulated game. Players do their best to play by the Rules, call penalties on themselves etc while the referees are supposed to stand back and help when asked to do so (of course they need to react to any rules infractions they see). It just isn't possible to have the refs following every step of the way. Certainly the system has its flaws but people calling in violations isn't one of them in my books. If there really is a violation, the player has done something s/he shouldn't have done to begin with (remember 6-1) and is rightfully penalized for it. If I'm caught speeding, it's not the police officer's fault for catching me. It's on me for breaking the rules.

In football etc. the requirement of following the rules is outsourced to the ref and everything goes unless you're caught on the spot. Under such circumstances you're actually encouraged to bend the rules. I'm not a fan of such a fundamental change in golf, especially if there was a time limit for reporting an issue.
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Re: LPGA - Lexi Ruling, Right or Wrong?

Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:00 pm

Posted by Celtic_Bil


I suppose that by the rules she was wrong and must be penalised as the rules state, which is 2 shots for the breach + a further 2 for signing an incorrect score.  I believe under previous rules it was DQ for signing an incorrect score.

I disagree with decisions made on the back of an armchair referee emailing in.  Refereeing the game should not be open to millions of viewers.

And, if she did replace the ball in a different spot to purposely improve the lie or line, then I guess she deserves to lose out.  I do feel she was harshly treated though.
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