January 11, 2011

"An armchair official tweeted in to get Camilo DQ’d... What is wrong with people? Have they got nothing better to do?"

Some guy watching the Tournament of Champions on TV got Camilo Villegas disqualified for "flick[ing] away some loose grass Thursday as his ball was rolling down a slope back toward his divot on the 15th hole at Kapalua."
Violating the rule normally incurs a two-shot penalty. But because Villegas had completed his round before his violation was confirmed Friday by the P.G.A., he was disqualified from the Tour’s season-opening event for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Ernie Els suggested the introduction of a deadline beyond which golfers could not be disqualified from a tournament.

“If it’s a rules violation, it should be dealt with,” the South African said. “Should there be a deadline? If you sign your card, it’s done and you can’t do anything about it. If somebody wants to call in, you’ve got to do it before we are done playing.”
Hey, don't violate the rules! I don't agree with Els's idea of a deadline. You're supposed to call the penalty on yourself, not try to get away with it. The disqualification is the incentive needed to protect the honest players.

39 comments:

EDH said...

Ernie Els suggested the introduction of a deadline beyond which golfers could not be disqualified from a tournament.

The temporal equivalent of a 1000 foot "no snitch" zone around professional golfers?

peter hoh said...

What, these guys think they are better than their fans?

Where's that little girl in the tub saying "No!" when we need her?

MadisonMan said...

The NFL should also listen to armchair officials. Have a tweet hotline during all the games, so the things the officials missed can be called.

Preston said...

Not just some guy, a Harvard educated author. I think golf, particularly professional golf, goes overboard on these "rules violations" things. I tend to agree with Els. If the golfer didn't realize it, his playing companion/opponent didn't realize it, and the rules official didn't realize it, and no one else realized it, I'd be willing to cut the player some slack.

traditionalguy said...

At last we have another use for our used surveillance drones. If the golfers cannot stand the disqualified time, then they should not do the crime. This can be the basis of a new series called CSL...Crime Scene Links. The series will star Elyn Wood's Divorce attorney, along with her sidekick John Daly for comic relief.

Lem said...

Althouse has a professional sports opinion?

Should we report Althouse to the sherrif ;)

SteveR said...

I think the rules official and his playing partner should be punished as well. This guy gets DQed only because it was shown on TV.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Isn't what he's suggesting what you lawyers refer to as a statue of limitations?

You want indefinate liabilty for "flicking away some loose grass"?

Hagar said...

Golf has many obscure rules that any individual player might miss; also many that are open to interpretation - kind of like the Constitution. You have to know not only the written language of each sentence, but also the interpretations various Supreme Courts have put on it over 223 years.

I think for this sort of thing, the player should at most be subject to the penalty for the original mistake and should not incur an additional penalty for a "false" scorecard signed in good faith.

Joe said...

I agree with Els up to a point--when you sign your card, the game is done. On the other hand, you sign your card certifying that you didn't cheat and Villegas cheated, knew it and lacked the integrity to call himself out. I don't golf and even I know what he did was cheating.

(Brian Davis called a penalty on himself and lost a tournament as a result. J.P. Hayes called a penalty on himself and got disqualified from a PGA qualifying event. Perhaps Villegas and all the PGA whiners can learn the meaning of integrity from these two men.)

Lem said...

The Pima County Sherrif is LIVE on CSPAN..

MadisonMan said...

The Pima County Sherrif is LIVE on CSPAN..

I thought you were gonna say EPSN.

Michael said...

I don't think you should be using words like "d..dline."

Pete the Streak said...

But did he say "What a stupid I am!"?

If not, I don't think it counts.

Joe - if you don't play the game and still 'knew he was cheating', you must have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Lem said...

I thought you were gonna say EPSN.

lol...

Belkys said...

Four or fives years ago, at the PGA some player after putting the ball stopped in the border of the cup and then after some time fell in. It was the play of the day in CNN . Someone without a life called the PGA. The ball was still more than 5 seconds before falling so it was a rule violation and the player was disqualified.
Statute of limitation anyone?
And yeas the rule are stupid like the invisible bunker foul called during the Fedex or the wet grass in the British Open? or was the Cup?

Belkys said...

Of course there is also the korean conspiration to cover the violation against the american whistleblower . That call to a sanction since there was actual malice

Lem said...

The Sheriff reminds me of Monica Lewinsky's lawyer.. William Ginsburg.

Ginsburg's name has been connected to a slang term that is derived from a feat he accomplished on February 1, 1998. On that day, he appeared on all five of television's major Sunday-morning interview shows, the first person known to have done so. The feat is now known as the "Full Ginsburg".

k*thy said...

Joe, ypu're right about everything but the card. The signed card's gotta match your score. Not if's, and's or but's. Golf is pretty anal about it's rules. You know that going in. Villegas knows it.

And too, I don't think this is the first time this has happened.

Hagar said...

On second thought, I do not think Villegas should have been penalized at all. He did not know he had committed an error, his fellow player(s) did not call him on it, nor did the tournament official(s) watching the play.

The game had ought to be self-contained; if this is allowed, then by reductio ad absurdum (sp?), this kibitzer could order up CD's from any old tournaments and have the records altered because he could show that Arnold Palmer or Ben Hogan did something similar sometime and should have been disqualified.

k*thy said...

Belkys, it was the PGA Championship @ Whistling Straits, this last summer. Johnson was made aware of the course bunker rules, as were all the other players. To his credit, he didn't make any excuses.

Belkys said...

Still he was robbed, people were walking over the "bunkers"
http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/news?slug=br-lateralhazard081510

Belkys said...

It must cut the other way. Add Galarraga to the list of perfect games too

Bruce Hayden said...

Stupid, stupid game.

Smilin' Jack said...

Hmmm...finally something sort of interesting happened in a golf game.

Statistical James said...

One of my Sunday school classmates from high school went on to become a professional golfer.

I saw her on TV, and was amazed to discover that she was in contention for a very high-profile LPGA tournament (maybe even the LPGA Championship).

She accidently moved the ball. Nobody noticed but her. You couldn't tell from the TV cameras. She immediately reported it. She ended up tying for third place.

Her name is Wendy Ward. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Ward

Michael said...

The players of this game hold it and themselves in such awe that there must be the strictest conceivable adherence to the rules or they deserve mockery.

tim maguire said...

I'd want to see the video--it seems to me it matters a lot whether he did this on purpose or if he has just futzing around and a bit of grass got knocked or if he didn't know the ball was going to hit the area he altered. He didn't sign a false card if he didn't know.

Lee Merrick said...

These guys play for millions of dollars. The Rules of Golf are not that difficult, if you do it for a living. They should stop whining and learn an important part of their profession!

Pete the Streak said...

The Rules of Golf are not that difficult? Really?

Your ball comes to rest under tree branches, forcing you to play a shot from your knees on a very wet course. Leaving the ball as is, you kneel on a towel to keep your pants clean, and on your backswing you dislodge a few leaves that fall onto the ball before you strike it.

Ruling?

http://articles.latimes.com/1987-02-17/sports/sp-3853_1_craig-stadler

Nothing's difficult when it's not you doing it.

Joel said...

If you believe him, Villegas did not know he violated the rule until he saw the video of it, which was after he signed his card. If he had known prior, he would have had the chance to correct his scorecard before signing. No mens rea (is that the proper use of the term?) here. That's why Els is arguing for a statute of limitations.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you believe him, Villegas did not know he violated the rule until he saw the video of it, which was after he signed his card."

I don't believe it. You can move stuff out of the way of the ball after you've hit it. That's pretty basic. Is his argument that he was in some robotic mode and didn't realize he'd done it?

Joe said...

Pete, I don't play football, but know the rules.

To give Villegas credit he made this statement:

"While it is obviously a disappointing way to start the season, the rules are the rules, and when something like this happens, it’s important to me that you’re respectful of the game and the people involved."

madAsHell said...

Joe -

I played football, and the rules have changed. I'm sure the rules of golf have changed as well.

Joel said...

There's a video on Yahoo Sports of the infraction. You can judge for yourself if he's robotically flicking a divot. (It seemed so to me.) It's a blatant violation done out in the open for everyone to see. Something you could easily see yourself doing if you didn't know the rules. I agree the DQ threat protects the honest players; it also protects the those players not ignorant of the rules. Els' point (as far as I can tell) is that Villegas got DQ'd the day after his infraction for signing an incorrect scorecard, not for the infraction itself, which is a result of a lack of process to deal with the viewer call-in scenario. Or, maybe he's trying to say it's sort of like Martha Stewart being convicted for obstructing justice despite not violating any insider trading laws.

dont tread 2012 said...

I saw the replay as well; the infraction actually happened on his 2nd attempt to chip up on the green. The ball rolled all the way back to where he took the shot, and he sort of reflexively stabbed at a loose divot he thought might be in the way of the ball rolling back. I immediately called foul and am surprised it wasn't caught earlier.

k*thy said...

Belkys, he wasn't robbed. The rules were made clear.

rdkraus said...

It's interesting the approach of different sports. Many sports, football and basketball in particular, practically encourage players to cheat as much as they can without getting caught. Golf requires the golfer to police himself. He's responsible for calling penalties on himself. Generally, the pros do this meticulously.

I've read PGA officials comments that they encourage fans to call in with rules violations because they want to get it right. It's the golfer's responsibility so, even if it's called, late, too bad.

In groups of golfers, there are always those who don't cheat, and the others. The ones who don't cheat quickly learn who the other guys are.

Hagar said...

I think some of the verbiage here, including the Professor's, is over the top. Apparently this infraction of the rules was committed in full daylight with people and cameras watching, and resulted in no playing advantage for the offender. That is hardly "cheating." It was just a rules infraction, and golf is golf.

I think it is more about establishing rules for how this sort of thing should be handled. Otherwise there is no end to it.

When I played soccer as a kid, it was simple. We played with the referee we got, and when the game was over, the results stood, even though all agreed that the referee either was blind and deaf or had been blatantly partisan.
And that was just the way it was.