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 Playing it by the book


This issue I’m going to describe (in)famous rules incidents from over the years. Let’s see if you can correctly identify the golfer involved in the situation. Good luck, and no prizes for spotting the fictional situation! Ashley Weller

1. In the 1968 Masters this player signed for a 4 at the 17th in the final round when he had, in fact, made a birdie 3. He therefore missed out on a playoff with Bob Goalby for the title.

- Gary Player - Roberto de Vincenzo - Arnold Palmer

2. In the 1987 Andy Williams Open this player had to play a shot from under a bush. He placed a towel on the ground when playing the shot from on his knees to keep his trousers dry. He returned his card and was subsequently disqualified, as he should have incurred a 2- stroke penalty for ‘building a stance’ and had therefore signed for a wrong score.

- Craig Stadler - Jerry Pate - Johnny Miller

3. In the 2001 Open Championship going into the final round this player made a birdie at the opening par 3. On the second tee the player’s caddie realised there were two drivers in the bag, making 15 clubs in total. The resulting 2- stroke penalty effectively ended the challenge for the Claret jug.

- Sandy Lyle - David Duval - Ian Woosnam

4. In the 2011 Tournament of Champions in Hawaii this player played a bump-and-run chip shot up a severe slope only to see his ball rolling back towards him. He flicked away a divot on the fairway where the ball was about to come to rest and continued play. This violation of Rule 23-1 was only noticed after the card was returned so a penalty of disqualification was applied on the player’s 29th birthday.

- Camilo Villegas - Mark Wilson - Phil Mickelson

5. In a playoff for the 2010 Dubai World Championship this player accidentally dropped his ball onto his ball marker causing it to move on the green of the first playoff hole. The subsequent one-stroke penalty cost him approximately £352,000 as he lost the playoff and related order of merit bonus money.

- Robert Karlsson - Rory McIlroy - Ian Poulter

6. Playing in the final group in the 4th round at last year’s USPGA Championship, this player suffered a 2-stroke penalty for brushing a leaf in a hazard with his backswing, eventually finishing tied 3rd behind eventual winner, Rory McIlroy.

- Keegan Bradley - Carl Pettersson - Justin Rose

7. In the 2006 LPGA Championship this player’s ball lay near a divot that had been badly replaced in the fairway. She removed the divot and suffered a 2-stroke penalty.

- Annika Sorenstam - Karrie Webb - Michele Wie

8. In the 2009 Masters this player had a short birdie putt on the 15th in the second round whilst trying to win his third consecutive major. After addressing the ball a gust of wind moved the ball, resulting in a 1-stroke penalty. This helped lead to a change in the rules in 2012.

- Phil Mickelson - Tiger Woods - Padraig Harrington

9. In a match against James Bond at Royal St Davids, this arch criminal attempts to cheat Bond out of the match, but 007 switches his opponent’s ball on the last, causing him to lose the match and the rather large bet.

- Auric Goldfinger - Sir Hugo Drax - Emilio Largo

10. In the 2012 Abu Dhabi Championship this player said he had been ‘brain-dead’ when sweeping sand lying off the green off his line of play, costing him a 2 shot penalty. Luke Donald had to point out his error costing him a share of the lead after two rounds.

- Padraig Harrington - Rory McIlroy - Darren Clarke

Scroll Down For Answers














1) Roberto de Vincenzo,
2) Craig Stadler,
3) Ian Woosnam,
4) Camilo Villegas,
5) Ian Poulter,
6) Carl Pettersson,
7) Annika Sorenstam,
8) Padraig Harrington,
9) Auric Goldfinger,
10) Rory McIlroy

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine


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