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Rules Aren’t Made To Be Broken

The argument, made by many, is all wrong. We don’t need, they say, amateur rules officials, parked in their Barca-loungers in front of their plasma screens, calling penalties on PGA Tour players from a few hundred miles away. Give the game back to the players and let them be responsible for its integrity. It has worked this way since golf was invented and it should work that way now. But the Rules of Golf, professionally speaking, are intended for the protection of the field. If a player breaks a rule, wittingly or not, and is not caught, whom does that harm? PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem says the Tour will take a hard look at continuing to allow television viewers to call in rules violations, or at the very least, invoking a statute of limitations, putting a time limit on the call-ins. This issue has reared its gnarly head once more and it centers, naturally, around golf’s biggest lightning rod, Tiger Woods. The world’s most scrutinized player was caught by a camera operator for PGA Tour Entertainment in a close-up moment. While moving a twig on the first hole at Conway Farms Golf Club during the second round of the BMW Championship, his ball moved, though he didn’t think so. And he still doesn’t. The footage was brought to the attention of PGA Tour rules officials and they called Woods in to watch the pictures before he signed his scorecard. The video didn’t lie except Tiger, using all his resources, tried to argue the officials out of the ruling. He claimed that the ball oscillated and still believes it.


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