One of the worst things about professional golf is that tournaments have long had the potential to be completely derailed by armchair rules officials. Such was the case earlier this year when a TV viewer emailed the LPGA’s fan feedback address to tattle on Lexi Thompson for misplacing her ball by an inch at most. The infraction cost her four strokes and a major title.
After that incident, the USGA relaxed its rules penalizing players for infractions that could only be discovered through close video scrutiny. Now golf’s governing bodies have taken the next step, telling all the snitches who watch tournaments at home not to bother calling them anymore. From Golf Week:
Effective Jan. 1, the U.S. Golf Association, R&A and the game’s major professional tours no longer will accept calls and emails from fans who think they have spotted rules violations. The governing bodies – in conjunction with the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America – agreed to assign at least one rules official to monitor all tournament telecasts and resolve any rules issues.
This is surely a big blow to some dork named Jeff, who gets his kicks by watching golf every weekend and trying to catch people making minor violations.