Golf 2013: Top 10 Rules Infraction Moments

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The 10 most famous moments in golf where the rules either helped or hindered a player.

1. SCORECARD SURPRISE

Argentinian golfer Roberto DeVicenzo just finished an apparent final-round 65 to tie for the lead in the 1968 Masters when he signed an incorrect scorecard and was disqualified. His playing partner, Tommy Aaron, had DeVicenzo with a 4 at No. 17 when he had actually recorded a birdie 3. By signing and turning in the incorrect scorecard, DeVicenzo was disqualified from a playoff with Bob Goalby.

2. BUNKER? WHAT BUNKER?

On the final hole of the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Dustin Johnson grounded his club in a sandy bunker where the gallery was standing, thinking it was a waste area. After finishing the hole and thinking he was part of a playoff with Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, Johnson was immediately informed of the gaffe and assessed a two-shot penalty for grounding his club in a hazard.

3. TERRIBLE TOWEL

In what might have been the first incident of television viewers reporting an infraction, Craig Stadler used a towel to kneel on to keep his pants from getting wet while hitting a shot from underneath a low-hanging tree limb in the 1987 San Diego Open. When highlights of the shot were shown the next day, viewers called tournament officials and said Stadler used the towel to "build a stance," a violation of rules. After the final round, Stadler was informed of the infraction and was DQ'ed for not penalizing himself and signing for an incorrect score, costing him a second-place check.

4. ONE TOO MANY

Prior to the final round of the 2001 British Open, Ian Woosnam tested two different drivers on the range and forgot to remove one before play. After the second hole, his caddie, Myles Byrne, informed Woosnam him that both drivers were still in the bag. The penalty for having more than 14 clubs in the bag is two strokes per hole, meaning Woosnam was penalized four strokes. Without the penalty, Woosnam would have been in a playoff with David Duval.

5. HONEST DAVIS

During a playoff with Jim Furyk on the 18th hole of the 2010 Heritage Classic. Brian Davis played his third shot from a greenside waste area, then informed a tournament official his club may have ticked a loose impediment before striking the ball. After consulting TV replays, the official agreed and assessed Davis a two-shot penalty that essentially handed the title to Furyk. Davis' honesty cost him his first PGA Tour title.

6. ROCK AND ROLL

In one of the most controversial incidents that wasn't an infraction, Tiger Woods' tee shot at No. 13 during the final round of the 1999 Phoenix Open came to rest near a huge boulder that would interfere with his swing. Woods asked a rules official if the boulder was considered a "loose impediment" under the rules of golf, even though the boulder was huge. The official correctly told Woods it was, and Woods was allowed to ask members of the gallery to assist him in moving the boulder. With a clear shot to the green, Woods made birdie on the hole.

7. BOBBY'S CALL

In the 1925 U.S. Open, Bobby Jones called a penalty on himself when his ball moved ever so slightly on a greenside chip from a steep bank. Even though nobody else saw the ball move, Jones assessed himself a one-shot penalty that kept him from winning the tournament outright. Instead, it dropped him into a 36-hole playoff with Willie MacFarlane, which he lost.

8. SQUEEKING BY

Following the end of the third round of the 1991 PGA Championship, John Daly was called to the television truck of PGA officials because three TV viewers claimed that Daly's caddie, Squeaky Medlen, had touched the putting surface to show Daly a putting line on the 11th hole. Such an infraction would had been a two-shot penalty. It was determined, however, that Medlen's action was inadvertent and he was not trying to assist Daly.

9. CADDIE CONFIDENTIAL

During the second round of the 2007 Honda Classic, Mark Wilson's caddie told Camilo Villegas which club Wilson had just used, a violation of Rule 8-1 that resulted in a one-shot penalty for Wilson. Despite the extra shot, Wilson ended up winning the championship in a four-way playoff.

10. OFF THE MARK

After an opening-round 65 that left him in second place, Padraig Harrington of Ireland was disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Championship because he failed to replace a ball that had moved a fraction of an inch when he picked up his marker. Under European Tour rules, the ball must be replaced if the coin causes it to move. Harrington was assessed a two-shot and disqualified for signing for the wrong score.

golf

Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com


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