Sunday, April 14, 2013

67th Western Intercollegiate - Day 2 and Wrap-Up

            What an amazing day!  How about that tournament down in Augusta?  If you’re reading this article you’re certainly enough of a golf fan to have watched the Masters today.  SPOILER ALERT for anyone who is watching on DVR:  the anchored slam is complete.  It was a very strange week in Rules at the Masters, and because I can’t handle talking about it much more, I’m going to leave my previous article as my standing position on “DropGate.” 
            Across the country on another Alister MacKenzie golf course, another high quality event was being played:  the 67th Annual Western Intercollegiate.  We saw history in the making today, as the California Golden Bears overcame a 9 stroke deficit to win their 9th event of the year by 13 strokes.  What’s even more impressive is that their number 3 player, Michael Weaver, didn’t play.  He spent the weekend back at that tournament in Augusta after missing the cut with rounds of 78-74. (That came out wrong, did I mention he was playing in the Masters itself?)  I’ll let the fantastic Golfweek writers that were present cover the event itself – I’m here to talk about the Rules.
            You can review yesterday’s notable Rules situations in my previous article.  Today we had two types of infractions in three notable situations.

Read the Local Rules!

            Several years ago a problem started developing with players hitting their drives up or down the fairways of the 11th and 12th holes, endangering oncoming groups and slowing the pace of play in the process.  Without going into severe detail, a large lateral water hazard separates the two holes and in order to solve this problem, we got a recommendation from the USGA on an internal out of bounds.  We implemented this local rule successfully last year and kept it in place this year. 
            In order to successfully implement the local rule, we had to place white stakes on both sides of the hazard to define the internal out of bounds.  In the play of the 11th hole, the white stakes on the 12th hole are boundary stakes and the white stakes on the 11th hole are immovable obstructions.  This goes the same but vice versa while playing the 12th hole.  Essentially all you need to know is the player cannot move those stakes because they are fixed (either as out of bounds stakes or as immovable obstructions).  It is that status as fixed that is key.
            Unfortunately, one player did not read the local rules or did not listen to the briefing from his coach telling him that he cannot move those white stakes.  So while playing the 11th hole, one player did move the white stake because it interfered with his swing.  He would have been entitled to relief from the immovable obstruction (it was a stake defining the OB for hole 12), but he was not entitled to remove the stake.  Decision 13-2/15 explains that if a player removes an immovable obstruction the player has breached Rule 13-2 and is subject to the general penalty (two strokes in stroke play or loss of hole in match play).  In this case the player was penalized two strokes and went on to make an 8 on the hole.

Ahem…Signing for a Score Lower than Actually Made

            There were two disqualifications today.  The first player we discovered prior to the close of the competition and so the DQ was quite unceremonious.  The head coach came in and asked to look at the card in question, saw that the player had signed for a score lower than actually taken and announced the player was disqualified. 
            The second disqualification happened after the close of the competition.  After the competition closed?  Yes, exactly.  The Exception to Rule 34-1b clearly states that the Committee MUST impose a penalty of disqualification after the competition is closed if a competitor: (iii) returned a score for any hole lower than actually taken (Rule 6-6d) for any reason other than failure to include a penalty that, before the competition closed, he did not know he had incurred.

(Oh, by the way, it would absolutely not be appropriate in any way for the Committee to use Rule 33-7 to waive the disqualification penalty in these circumstances…either…)

Because this second disqualification happened after the close of the competition it changed the result of the competition and may actually impact some rankings.  Please, check your score card carefully and make sure the hole-by-hole scores are correct and not just the total.  The Committee is responsible for the total (Rule 33-5) and the player is responsible for the hole-by-hole (Rule 6-6d).


  1. What was the back story for the second dq? Did the player just put down the wrong number?

    1. Yes, he just put down the wrong score for the 7th hole.