Saturday, July 19, 2008

Un-Freaking-Believable

By now you’ve probably heard that Michelle Wie was disqualified from the State Farm Classic. She violated rule 6-6b of the USGA Rules of Golf at the end of her round Friday by not signing her scorecard before leaving the scoring area just off the 18th green. This violation came to the attention of the LPGA after Wie teed off to start Round Three so no action was taken until after she finished play Saturday. The press release by the LPGA can be found here. ESPN reports that Wie was signing autographs outside the tent when tournament volunteers brought the card to her for signing. Why an LPGA official was not in the tent to witness this chain of events and DQ her Friday afternoon is a mystery to me.

I think we finally have the answer to that question we’ve been asking recently: How can a professional golfer get DQ’d for not signing her scorecard? Remember Brittany Lincicome at the Ginn Tribute? Maybe she stepped outside the scoring area to use the restroom or talk to a friend or whatever, and rule 6-6b was invoked there. It took Michelle Wie violating this rule for a proper press release to finally explain it where a layperson could understand how this could happen.

Any further comment that I could make about this situation would insinuate that I know what Michelle Wie was thinking, or what her camp has or has not done to prepare her towards completing a professional round of golf. I will say this – this golden opportunity for Wie to fulfill all that potential that so many have been waiting for is now gone. We will all have to wait a little longer.

2 comments:

Roy said...

I have been watching golf since I was 10 years old (1966). What really bothers me are some of the rules and how "old" they are. How can a player finish a round and not sign a scorecard? Shame on that player. However, there needs to be some checks and balances. The player turns in the scorecard to an offical in a facility after each round. Does the LPGA offical not see that the card is not signed? Gee, what a capital idea for them to check and if the player did not sign it, ask the player to sign it. This old school "crap" has been a "rule" and it needs to change with the times. The same goes or the PGA. Maybe it is time to review the "rule book" and get into the 21st century. Golf seems to be the only sport that still abides with rules from the 19th century. Time to grow up!

The Constructivist said...

I've criticized other LPGA rules--like their policy on which non-member winnings count toward the money list for getting a card and their limiting the U.S. qualifier for the Women's British Open to LPGA members--but I have to disagree with roy on the signing the scorecard one. I'm all for keeping the signature requirement, at least until we don't need to put them on checks, credit card slips, marriage licences, passports, and so on. That official confirmation/certification that this is what you shot is part and parcel of the whole "call penalties on yourself," "count every stroke" ethos of the rules. I've played tournaments at the junior, high school, college, and amateur levels, and I'll never forget what it's like keeping someone else's score, checking cards, and signing their card and yours. It's part of what makes tournament golf tournament golf, so I'd hate to see it ditched just b/c players, officials, and volunteers make the occasional mistake.