Thursday, May 13 2021


Another rules fiasco

Update: April, 09/2017 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

By Robert Bicknell

It seems that victory has been snatched from the mouth of a deserving player by some guy at home with HD TV and too much time on his hands.  This time it involved Lexi Thompson, playing in the ANA Championship, and a viewer who caught an inadvertent error when replacing her ball in the round the day before. This resulted in TWO two-stroke penalties which erased her two stroke lead and put her two strokes down.

Thompson went on to lose the playoff that, to be honest, should have never happened, at least under those circumstances.

According to the replay, she did not replace her ball in exactly the same location. It was half an inch (1.27cm) off.

As you might have guessed, I am NOT a big fan of viewers being allowed to call in after a round to report a rules violation. Golfers should be allowed to play the game as it was meant to be and that includes calling penalties on themselves when required.

Clowns at home with HDTV and nothing better to do should not be involved.

Now then, this is not to say that I don’t think instant replay should not be used in sports. It absolutely should – especially in those sports where everything happens fast, such as ice hockey, football, soccer, etc., but not in golf and certainly not a day after a round has completed and a player has no opportunity to rectify the mistake before playing a stroke from the next tee (as per the rules of golf).

What happens if a viewer sees a penalty on a replay on YouTube a week later? Are the officials going to take the trophy back and give it to someone else?

Part of golf is calling penalties on yourself, unlike other sports, such as football (soccer) where players take a dive and scream in mock agony whenever someone comes within a metre of them hoping to draw a penalty on the opposing team. It’s ridiculous.

Gof is a “spectator sport” so they should not allow people to call in rules violations. Players are not perfect and mistakes happen. This is “Rub of the grain” and not earthshattering. OK, sure, if someone makes a massive violation like kicking a ball down the fairway, that should be commented upon, but otherwise no.

Far too many people in the world nowadays are looking for something to be offended about, or looking for things to complain about, but golf shouldn’t be one of them.

Let the spectators sit at home with their beer, shut up and just enjoy the game.

* * *

If you are one of those crazy people like me who enjoy watching wrestling, then you would have known last Sunday was “Wrestlemania 33”.

Now, before you get on my case, I know everything is scripted and the outcome predetermined. No, I don’t call it “fake” because those guys are world class athletes who perform some amazing moves without killing themselves or their “opponent.” Accidents happen quite frequently and these guys seem to keep sucking up the pain night after night, show after show, until they cannot ignore it any longer. Then they go get surgery and get back to work.

If you watched Wrestlemania 33, you would have seen the retirement of the “Undertaker” (Mark Callaway) who is an icon unto himself and a living legend. But all those years took a horrible toll on his body and health and, at 52 years of age, finally decided enough is enough.

It was an amazing run which started in 1984 and allowed him to amass a personal fortune of US$17 million, despite only wrestling one match (at Wrestlemania) during the last few years.

Broken bones, torn muscles, and even hip replacement surgery. The guy earned every dime he made and, when it came time to retire, he did it on his own terms. He said in interviews that he would only continue wrestling as long as he could hang with the guys. Once he couldn’t, he’d hang it up.

I mention this because one of our own, Tiger Woods, is facing the same dilemma.

Personally, I would like to see him retire with dignity and on his own terms. Let us remember him for his amazing achievements instead of as the guy who didn’t know when to quit. VNS




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