One of my predictions for this year was another major rules blunder. And while this certainly doesn’t count as “major,” its certainly a big oops:
The Tournament of Champions lost another star player Friday when Camilo Villegas was disqualified for a rules violation that a television viewer called in after the opening round at Kapalua.
Villegas was chipping up the slope to the 15th green when the ball twice rolled back toward him. The second time, Villegas walked over and casually swatted away some loose pieces of grass in front of the divot as the ball was still moving down the slope.
That is a violation of Rule 23-1 that says, “When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed.” The penalty is two shots. Villegas opened with a 72, and he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
I’ll reiterate my belief that I don’t think the younger players really know the rules as well as they should.