Harrington DQ’d For Moving Ball

Padraig Harrington was DQ’d in Dubai for moving his ball (shown in the video above) while picking up the ball marker. If he had noticed at the time, he would have incurred a two stroke penalty, turning his 65 into a still more than respectable 67. Unfortunately, Padraig didn’t notice, and signed the scorecard. Later, a viewer called in the penalty and Harrington was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

While I agree that the field needs to be protected, this viewer as referee thing is becoming ridiculous. In my mind, if neither the player, the walking official, nor his partner noticed and the scorecard was signed, that’s it. The only way a viewer’s observation of a violation should be observed is if the call is made and the player informed before he signs. Post card-signing call-ins should be duly noted, but not applied.

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4 thoughts on “Harrington DQ’d For Moving Ball”

  1. If Harrington noticed it at the time of the movement, and remarked and replaced the ball – there would have been no penalty I thought under 20-3:
    “If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of placing or replacing the ball, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of placing or replacing the ball or removing the ball-marker. Otherwise,
    the player incurs a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2a or 20-1.”

    Also- It appears to me that pros mark their ball in the most difficult way.  Maybe it is the angle of the camera, but it looks like they actually put the mark underneath part of the ball.  There is no requirement for that.  Under 20-1: “The position of a ball to be lifted should be marked by placing a ball-marker, a small coin or other similar object immediately behind the ball.”

    Define “immediately behind” – the way I read it, as I look down on the ball, the edge of the ball mark should be touching the edge of the ball in my line of vision.  But if I read immediately to be 3mm gap between the ball and the mark in my vision, is that wrong?  But in no way to I read this to be that the edge of the mark would be underneath a part of the ball.

  2. Next point-
    If the call in crap continues, they need to set up a rule book on that too.  They should have to come into a specific twitter or email account, and those violations must be timely and, as you write, these MUST be brought to the players attention prior to signing the card and the player have the ability to 1) protest, 2) correct the card, or 3) provisionally sign the card under protest for later review.  If you cannot do that, then the violation must be SO GROSS as to be obvious that the violation occured then perhaps you could apply the stroke penalties.

    The interview with Jack the other morning on Golf Channel Morning Drive was telling (available on the website) – he thinks the rules are too complex now and need to be simplified.  One rule that he mentioned as needing changed, I really agree with – especially for casual games- Out of bounds should not be stroke and distance- it shouldn’t be more punitive than a whiff.

  3. I’ve been saying that about out of bounds for a couple of years now. My feeling is that in today’s crowded courses, it’s impractical.

  4. I am also tired of this.  There is no other professional sport that would change a ruling of a game based on a viewer calling in during or after the game.


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