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Breaking News: USGA & R&A Eliminate 4 stroke Penalty and Viewer Call-ins


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The USGA and the R&A have introduced a new local rule and new video protocols for 2018.

A working group led by the USGA and The R&A has unanimously agreed to adopt a new set of protocols for video review when applying the Rules of Golf.
The group, consisting of the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour and The PGA of America, as well as the governing bodies, will implement the following measures from January 1, 2018:
  • Will assign one or more officials to monitor the video broadcast of a competition to help identify and resolve rules issues as they arise.
  • Will discontinue any steps to facilitate or consider viewer call-ins as part of the rules decision process.
  • Video will be limited to material obtained from the committee's broadcast partner. Other video (such as from an individual smart phone or camera) will not be used.
  • The USGA and R&A have approved the adoption of a local rule to eliminate the additional two-stroke penalty for failing to record a penalty on the scorecard when the player was unaware of the penalty,
  • All working groups will introduce the rule for 2018, and the penalty will be permanently removed when the modernized rules of golf take effect on January 1, 2019.
Those of you who are regular readers of my blog will know that I have been very vocal about the need to make these changes. I am especially happy about the elimination of the 4 stroke penalty. Unfortunately it will not change the fact that it cost Lexi Thompson 3 Hall of Fame points (2 for winning a major, 1 for winning Player of the Year). The important thing is they have finally got it right, and this will not happen again to another player.

As far as eliminating call-ins, this has been a long time coming. In no other major sport can a spectator change the outcome of a competition based on what they saw. 

Let me be the first to say that this will be forever known as the "Lexi Rule."



This Week's Trivia Question: 

What LPGA player had the most top five finishes in 2017, without recording a single victory?






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