Published: Mon, December 11, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Tours to eliminate two-shot scorecard error for TV call-in reviews

Tours to eliminate two-shot scorecard error for TV call-in reviews

Armchair golf fans will no longer be able to "call-in" rules infringements after a new set of protocols for reviewing video coverage was agreed across the game.

In April, Lexi Thompson was docked four strokes during the final round when officials at the ANA Inspiration learned via e-mail from a viewer of an infraction that occurred during the third round.

A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is now underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on January 1, 2019.

The USGA and R&A said that starting January 1 one or more officials would be assigned to monitor the video broadcast of a competition to help identify and resolve rules issues as they arose. On Monday, the USGA and R&A announced that players won't be penalized 2 shots for an incorrect scorecard if they were not aware of a rules violation when they signed their card. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu. Because that would have made her score two shots higher, she received an additional two-shot penalty for the scorecard error.

Leaders from all major tours and organizations began meeting later that month.

Discussing the announcement, David Rickman, Executive Director - Governance at The R&A, said, "This has clearly become an important issue in the sport that we felt we should address at this stage ahead of the implementation of the updated Rules of Golf in 2019". The proposal now is under public review and expected to be effective in 2019.

The USGA's senior director of the Rules of Golf, Thomas Pagel, told Golf Channel's Morning Drive show: "The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled".

Officials will be assigned to monitor video broadcasts of televised tournaments and resolve any issues, while any steps to consider viewer call-ins as part of a decision are to be discontinued.

This most famously happened, of course, during the 2013 Masters when Tiger Woods was penalized after an errant drop following a call from a television viewer.

According to the video review protocol for tournaments on TV, officials will not monitor or review any calls from views at home.

"We like the fact people who watch the telecasts get excited about something they see", former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said during a 2011 interview.

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