Player Reaction Mixed On Application Of New Rule
KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, SAUDI ARABIA | Judging by the extent to which it is still a talking point, we can rest assured that players and caddies at this week’s Saudi International will not be doing as Li Haotong did last Sunday at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in falling foul of Rule 10.2b (4).
Almost certainly, players will be taking a last-minute look at their caddies as well as the hole in a bid to ensure that they, the caddies, are well clear of what might be seen as the lining-up area. "And if they're not," said Sergio García, "they need to tell them to get out of the way."
Trevor Immelman, like García a past Masters champion, is one of many still squirming at what he saw on the relevant video. To him, it was not clear that Li, a 23-year-old Chinese player who has won twice on the European Tour, had broken the rule at all. “His caddie was moving away and is looking elsewhere, while Haotong did not at that point even have his putter head behind the ball,” Immelman said.
“I feel so sorry for him. It wasn’t about the (money); what mattered to him was the drop from a share of third place to a share of 12th and all the ranking points it would have cost in a year when he will be trying to get into the Presidents Cup."
Immelman added that while he had the greatest admiration for the R&A and the USGA, who preside over the game’s rules, he believes t...
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