Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

  • Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

Rules changes include no more viewer call-ins

Today's announcement takes you back to the ANA Inspiration in April and the Lexi Thompson debacle where she was given a four-stroke penalty mid-round due to an infringement on the previous day after a viewer called in.

Call-ins from golf viewers will no longer form part of the process for assessing potential rule violations, after the sport's law-makers announced revisions to the Rules of Golf. She was penalized two shots for the infraction. Officials will instead be assigned to monitor video broadcasts, with a view to identifying and resolving rules issues as they arise.

Thompson went on to lose the tournament in the playoffs and the incident caused massive outcry.

A working group led by The R&A and the USGA has unanimously agreed to adopt a new set of protocols for video review set to come into play from 1st January 2018.

Following the elimination of call-in penalties from television viewers by the USGA and R&A as well as the elimination of the two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard a player didn't know at the time was incorrect, several professional golfers (including Lexi Thompson) weighed in.

The PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, European PGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America are on board with the decision.

The USGA and R&A have also approved the adoption of a local rule that eliminates the additional 2-stroke penalty for failing to include a penalty on the scorecard when the player was unaware of the infraction. Only video from a tournament's "broadcast partner" will be eligible for review in most cases, not video "from an individual's camera, smartphone or similar device".

"As technology has continued to evolve, it has allowed us to evolve how we operate, as well".

Further, the local rule, which becomes available from January 1, 2018, eliminates the additional two-stroke penalty applied to players for failing to include a penalty on the score card when the player was unaware of the penalty.

Viewers calling in and reporting issues - often rules officials watching from home - has been a controversial issue for golf in recent years, with Tiger Woods being engulfed in a particularly infamous situation at the Masters in 2013.

In April, a decision was issued to limit the use of video through the introduction of a "reasonable judgement" standard and a "naked eye" standard.