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Bizarre Rules Controversy Dominates Korean LPGA Tour Event

By: | Mon 23 Oct 2017 | Comments

SO HERE we go yet again with another bizarre rules controversy - and this one may have passed you by because it occurred in a relatively minor Korean LPGA Tour event. Nevertheless, it is a cracker.

During the first round of the KB Financial Star Championship at Black Stone Golf Club, players were struggling to identify where the fringes ended and the greens began. Two players, Choi Hye-jin and Park You-na, accidentally marked and picked up their balls in the fringe thinking that they were on the green. It resulted in two-stroke penalties for each player.

Four other golfers had made the same mistake during the first round but were not penalised. Officials later decided to rescind the two penalties, causing uproar among the rest of the field.

It resulted in some players threatening to quit the tournament. After a long and heated meeting, tournament officials decided the best course of action was to wipe out all first-round scores. It ended up with rules official called Choi Jin-ha resigning from his position.

It gives us another opportunity to dig out yet another 10 of the most bizarre rule infringements. Seriously, this series could run and run...

Scott McCarron, 2017 Dominion Energy Charity Classic

You are going to love this one, just love it. McCarron was forced to take a drop during the first round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic on the Champions Tour. It was a free drop - no penalty. But as McCarron bent down to pick up the tees he had used to mark his drop area, the driver he had been holding slipped out of his hand. Can you guess where it landed? On his ball. The ball he had just moved. It meant he had interfered with the lie and suffered a one-shot penalty. He wasn't happy, as his driver soon found out!

Rory McIlroy, 2017 Open Championship

Whenever and wherever Rory McIlroy plays golf, he is followed by a huge crowd. This can be a huge advantage if he happens to hit a tee shot into the rubbish. But it can also be a drawback...McIlroy was playing the 15th hole at Royal Birkdale and missed the fairway with his drive. It was the cue for hundreds of spectators to rush to the spot where it landed and begin a search for it. After five minutes of searching there was no sign of McIlroy's ball, which was something of a suyprise given the size of the search party. he was left with no alternative but to go back to the tee and play again, with a two-shot penalty. However, video footage later emerged, quite clearly showing a 'fan' pick up a golf ball and drop it into his pocket. Bizarrely, dozens of people watched it happen and said nothing!

Ryan Fox, 2017 Italian Open

The New Zealander had an Italian Open to forget. First of all, he landed in Milan to discover that his airline had failed to put his golf clubs on his plane. They eventually turned up, but it didn't help his preparations for the tournament. However, that was as nothing compared with what happened to him at the eighth hole during his first round. He hit a drive that finished in the rough but before he could get to the ball, it had been pocketed by a spectator and was never seen again. Because nobody could be 100% certain where the ball had been taken from, Fox had to trudge back to the tee and hit another one, incurring a two-shot penalty. Oh yes, and he missed the cut.

Justin Rose, 2013 BMW Championship

This is one of those incidents that you couldn't make up - and almost certainly couldn't repeat if you stood there all day and tried. Englishman Justin Rose, who is one of the most meticulous golfers on the planet, was playing in the  third round of the BMW Championship. Rose was preparing to hit his second shot, when he took a practice swing, removed a divot and, horror of horrors, watched it leap forward and strike his golf ball. According to golf's crazy rules, he had interfered with the lie of the ball and suffered a one-shot penalty.

Brian Davis, 2010 Verizon Heritage

And then there was Brian Davis at the 2010 Verizon Heritage. It came down to a playoff between Davis and Jim Furyk. The stakes for Davis were incredibly high – he was looking for his forst victory on the PGA Tour (and he still is). During the first extra hole, Davis clipped a loose reed on the ground with his backswing. The violation of rule 13.4 against moving a loose impediment during a takeaway was nearly indiscernible. However, Davis thought he felt something and asked a PGA Tour official to check the TV coverage. Sure enough, he had caught the grass and was given a two-shot penalty. And his chance of victory was gone

Jeff Maggert, 2003 Masters.

Jeff Maggert began the final round of the 2003 Masters with a two-shot lead over Mike Weir, the Canadian left-hander. Playing the 350-yard, par-four third hole, Maggert's tee shot found a fairway bunker. Maggert took out a wedge and his ball hit the lip of the bunker, bounced backwards and hit him on the chest. He called a two-stroke penalty on himself for the ball "accidentally hitting a player, his caddie, or his equipment." He walked off the hole with a seven and eventually finished fifth.

Michelle Wie, 2005 Samsung World Championship

Wie made her professional debut as a professional at the age of 16 at the 2005 Samsung World Championship, and finished fourth. Or so she thought. It was only after completing the tournament that she was told she had taken a drop approximately a foot closer to the hole after hitting a wayward shot into a bush at the seventh during the third round. The illegal drop warranted a two-shot penalty and should have been added to that day's score. Wie was disqualifie, forfeiting her $53,000 prize.

Bobby Jones, 1925 US Open

At the 1925 U.S. Open, Bobby Jones moved his ball slightly while preparing to play a shot. Nobody else saw the ball move, but the greatest amateur golfer ever to pick up a golf club was adamant that it had called a one-shot penalty on himself. It ultimately cost him the tournament as he lost in a playoff. Praised for his honesty, Jones said: "You might as well praise me for not robbing banks."

Doug Sanders, 1966 Pensacola Open

Doug Sanders always enjoyed playing to the gallery, especially to any women who happened to be watching him play. During the Pensacola Open in 1966, Sanders opened with rounds of 63 and 67. He was delighted. In fact, he was so delighted that he rushed off to sign autographs for his adoring fans - completely forgetting to sign his card after round two. He was telling the press about how well he had played when he told about his mistake - and informed that he was being disqualified

Mark Wilson, 2007 Honda Classic

At the 2007 Honda Classic, Mark Wilson's caddie Chris Jones told a playing partner which club Wilson had just used. The rules of tournament play are clear - the only person who can give you advice over club selection is your own caddie. Wilson was penalised two strokes. But it didn't matter. he still went on to win the tournament.


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