A week of bad rulings and loud galleries
This has been the week of bad golfer behavior, incredibly confusing rulings and other oddities in professional golf. The amount of content to comb through on social has been staggering, so here are a few items to round out this week’s review in the caddie-o-sphere.
Leading us off this week is a reminder that the Rules of Golf are as hard to understand as they are to enforce. This was on full display at this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, as player Denny McCarthy and caddie, Derek Smith, unknowingly walked into one of the worst rules fiascos in years.
Denny McCarthy’s two-shot penalty from Friday’s round has been rescinded.
Here’s why: pic.twitter.com/RPCck88UMV
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 2, 2019
A number of players and caddies weighed in on the ruling, which was later retracted by the USGA as cooler heads — and common sense — prevailed.
Official Statement on Denny McCarthy: pic.twitter.com/PpcPl9rHiF
— USGA PR (@USGA_PR) February 2, 2019
Finally: so glad to see the McCarthy penalty reversed at the WMO. So glad to see the rule is going to be revised by USGA. There is a distinct difference between lining a player up before hitting a shot and player/caddie picking out an agreed upon target. #commonsense
— Scott Sajtinac (@SSajtinac) February 3, 2019
This is ridiculous… the fact this is a penalty is mind blowing. @USGA this NEEDS to be changed ASAP… there is nothing about this rule that makes the game better https://t.co/wtPmPOcss4
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) February 2, 2019
Credit to @pgatour and the PGA Tour rules official for doing the right thing with the Denny McCarthy situation today. Residing the penalty. They realize that the wording and application of this new rule is awful. Happy that we as a Tour are standing up to this. 👊👊
— Billy Horschel (@BillyHo_Golf) February 3, 2019
The crowds at TPC Scottsdale were incredible, and having the chance to attend for the first time with a group of friends this year was equally as special. It’s an experience I’ll never forget and it’s all about what’s happening off the course as much as on.
Caddies always take notice as fans scream and berate (and sometimes applaud) their players, so it’s interesting to see what is said on social after each round. Geno Bonnalie took to Twitter to comment on the McCarthy ruling, complete with an artist’s rendering of how he’ll approach his player, Joel Dahmen, at the WMPO moving forward.
I hope we don’t get retroactively penalized for me standing too close to Joel’s line of play in this drawing pic.twitter.com/piuH6akGJT
— Geno Bonnalie (@GenoBonnalie) February 2, 2019
Of course, there was still a lot of great fan interaction with the player-caddie teams this week, including this moment between the team of Chez Reavie, Justin York and a lucky young fan in Scottsdale.
Having fun at #WasteManagement Open today. Thanks Chez Reavie and Justin York for making my son stoked! @CaddieNetwork #caddiesouvenir pic.twitter.com/Vq4eoZi0Ku
— Gino Pilato (@GinoPilato) February 3, 2019