137th British Open

07/19/2008 1:49 pm
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Even without Tiger, the British Open seems to be setting up for something pretty special. At 53 years old, Greg Norman is one of if not the oldest person to lead the British open after three rounds. Before Tiger came around, Norman was my favorite golfer, and I must say I am rooting for him the same way I rooted for him back in the early 90s. Back on our old Windows 3.0 computer, we had a PGA tour golf game, and I always named my golfer "Greg Norman". I hope he wins.

As much of a Tiger Woods fan as I am, it seems very special to be watching a major for the first time in about a decade it wasn't "Tiger vs the field."

Coverage starts at 8:00am et/ 7:00am ct.
jon.jpgJon - Nutcan.com's kitten expert
07/19/2008 @ 06:40:26 PM
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A fun time indeed.

Yet, the other golf story coming out of the day shows just one of the reasons why I will probably never give golf anything beyond lower-tier status as a sport (or sportlike event).

http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/news/story?id=3496673

A rule broken? sure. technically. Reasons for the rule? I'm sure there is at least one.
A reason to have such a strict rule enforced to the smallest letter? Not really.

I'm (barely) willing to deal with players getting disqualified for actually signing an incorrect scorecard. You need to be accurate when it comes to the actual scoring. Though, disqualification seems a bit much. Why not just correct the mistake and get a predetermined # stroke-penalty? Plus, in this day and age, there isn't even really a reason for the whole scorecard ceremony. Everyone and their brother knows what a pro golfer shot during a round. In fact, see if you can follow me here, if someone KNOWS that a signed scorecard has the WRONG score on it -- then they KNOW what the RIGHT score is already!!!!!!!!!!! Why do they have this stupid scorecard?! It is beyond ridiculous.

And to make it worse, Michelle Wie isn't even in that situation. It's an even dumber situation. She just didn't sign it QUICKLY enough. So since she left the roped area without signing it -- disqualification. No matter that she went back immediately and signed the scorecard with no changes. No matter that everyone already knew what she shot anyway. No matter that nothing underhanded was done, no score was changed, and she gained no advantage over any other player, and there was no effect on anything. Disqualification.

Everyone, in every sport is probably guilty of needlessly hanging on to traditions for the sake of hanging on to traditions, but golf is the top dog when it comes to it. They go out of their way to make hurdles for the players to get caught up in. And it happens all the time and they don't care.

I'm sure there will be arguments from the other side about how personal scoring is fundamental and there is an issue of fairness and accountability and all that and blah blah blah. And to a point, such arguments are right. People have to follow the rules and they are there for a reason. But this ruling in this instance doesn't even make sense. It's outdated, unnecessary, and the punishment doesn't even come close to fitting the crime anyway.
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Jon messed with this at 07/19/2008 6:41:31 pm
question_mark.giffrozentundrafan - 21 Posts
07/19/2008 @ 11:15:18 PM
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I am an avid golf watcher on TV (hate to admit it), but only when Tiger is in the tournament. Since 1997 when Woods won his first Major, I have watched pretty much all of the 4 major tournaments each year. Because of Woods, I actually took up the sport the same year, and to this day curse at least once when I'm on the course. Talk about a humbling game.

Anyway, even with the great story of Greg Norman in contention going into the weekend, it isn't enough to bring me to watch it. Tiger has the element that so many greats have had in their respective sports (Gretzky, Jordan, Federer...) and when that person is not playing, it changes the whole dynamics. I will be curious to see the TV rankings in this major compared to ones that Tiger has been in.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
07/19/2008 @ 11:16:38 PM
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To be honest, though, when you get into any sort of golf competition, it is just something that you do, and it is something you would have been doing for a long time (Although Michelle Wie is like 14). You sign the card. You walk off the 18th green and you sign the card. Now I guess disqualification maybe a bit harsh, but it was obviously a boneheaded moment for Wie.

Besides this, Jon, what other needless things does golf hang on to? I've heard you bring this one forward before, but can you think of other things?

Also, thanks for ruining my special moment about a 53 year old man who is doing something no one his age has done before.
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Scott messed with this at 07/19/2008 11:16:55 pm
jon.jpgJon - 1000000 posts (and counting!)
07/20/2008 @ 12:51:50 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:16:38 PM
Besides this, Jon, what other needless things does golf hang on to? I've heard you bring this one forward before, but can you think of other things?


Well, to be honest, just about any example I could think of off the top of my head would come down to some variation of the scorecard thing. So maybe I overstated it a bit. (Though I know they can't play in shorts, which is lame.) But the thing is, this happens to someone, in some form, every year. Multiple times a year actually. There are always these little scorecard quirks that get someone disqualified, yet could be fixed in about 30 seconds if anyone cared about actually solving the problem. But the only "solution" in golf is to disqualify. They just pretend things like cameras, scoreboards, witnesses and erasers don't exist.
So, in my mind, the laundry list grows every time I have to hear another story where a minor error was made and someone gets disqualified because, technically, they were in error for one moment of the day that had nothing to do with the actual game played.


Here's something from an old article I found here (http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/news/story?id=2194093).
YOu don't have to go there, I'll paste the important part.
It shows two examples of these errors, but to the USGA's credit, they actually did something about one of them. So I guess I can't complain too much.

The United States Golf Association recently amended 111 rules, to go into affect in 2006. One of them had to due with the violation that got Mark Roe disqualified from the 2003 British Open. Roe had just finished off a 67, the lowest score of the tournament. The Englishman was in contention and glowing. Then he learned that he and playing partner Jesper Parnevik had failed to exchange cards on the first tee. That meant that Roe's scores were actually entered on Parnevik's card and vice versa. It was a clerical error. Everyone attested to Roe's 67. But rules being rules, he was disqualified.

Golf's governing bodies have applied some common sense to that rule, allowing for some discretion.
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Kevin Stadler was disqualified from the Michelin Championship when he discovered he had a club with a bent shaft in his bag. Playing with a nonconforming club means disqualification, and there is no wiggle room. But shouldn't there be? Stadler said he did not know how the shaft became bent. He certainly didn't want to use a club in such condition. The rule is on the books to keep players from using clubs that are illegal. Can't some common sense prevail here, too?
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jon.jpgJon - Nutcan.com's kitten expert
07/20/2008 @ 01:00:07 AM
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This is a 10 year old article, so maybe some changes have been made, but here are some rules that Golfonline disagreed with.

To be fair though, there are little oddities in all sports' rules. (Generally, however, I find golf's the most senseless and unweilding) Also, some of these rules I don't really have that big of a problem with.
But some are ridiculous.
Here are the biggest two in my opinion:

"DECISION 13-2/25. Situation: A player removes an out-of-bounds post interfering with his play. He then realizes that he isn't allowed to move a boundary post and returns it before playing his next shot. Is he penalized? Answer: Yes, he broke the Rules as soon as he moved the post.

OUR VIEW: We don't see why the player should be penalized since he restored the original situation and his play was not affected.

DECISION 13-3/2. Situation: A player's ball is under a tree. He plays his next stroke from his knees, putting a towel on the ground to keep his pants from getting wet. Is he penalized? Answer: Yes, as Craig Stadler can attest.

OUR VIEW: Eleven years after Stadler was penalized in San Diego, we still don't agree. "

Edit: source: http://www.golfonline.com/golfonline/rules/features/article/0,17742,469326,00.html
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Jon perfected this at 07/20/2008 1:00:41 am
jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
07/20/2008 @ 03:20:06 AM
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p.s. I don't mean to come off all golf-hating. I just don't like it when they do this scorecard stuff.

And to direct it back to the original topic, I'm kind of cheering for Greg Norman too.
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Jon perfected this at 07/20/2008 3:20:50 am
avatar2345.jpgPackOne - Take your shirt off, twist it 'round yo' hand...spin it like a helicopter.
07/20/2008 @ 09:58:05 AM
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Hearty conditions today. Wow. Golf Rules BTW.
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