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8 over after 8... then DQ'd

limpalong

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Update (1:10 p.m. ET):

After further consultation with both Ben Crane and the USGA, Web.com Tour officials decided to disqualify Crane because he knowingly played with a non-conforming club for two holes.

According to a statement from Jim Duncan, vice president of rules and competition, Crane discovered that he had stickers on both his driver and 6-iron on the 11th hole. While he immediately took the driver out of play, he didn't pull the 6-iron from his bag until No. 14.

"He came back this morning and said he knew he had the 6-iron. He's got to make a declaration that that club is out of play," Duncan said. "Either to a member of the committee, which he could've told (rules official) Andrew Miller, or to one of his fellow playing competitors. When he didn't make that declaration, at the point he knew he had to take that club out of play, that's ultimately a disqualification penalty."

Original story:

Ben Crane’s first-round scorecard at the Albertsons Boise Open shows he began the tournament 8-8, but that had nothing to do with his game and everything to do with his equipment.

Crane was assessed a pair of four-shot penalties because of non-conforming clubs.

Crane, who started his round on the 10th hole, noticed on the 11th tee box that he had a dot sticker – used to collect TrackMan data – on his driver. He alerted officials and because it happened after he finished his first hole, he was hit with a four-stroke penalty (violation of Rule 4-1) instead of just two strokes.

Then, on the 14th hole, Crane realized he had the same decal on his 6-iron. He was given another four-stroke penalty, the maximum allowed. According to the Web.com Tour, officials conferred with the USGA to see if another penalty was necessary and it was deemed so because the incidents were reported at separate times.

Full-field scores from the Albertsons Boise Open

Crane would have started par-par, but was considered 8 over through two holes. He played the last 16 holes in 3 under for a 5-over 77. What would have been a tie for 37th after the first round turned into solo 132nd place.

This is the second of four Web.com Finals events. Crane finished 147th on the PGA Tour’s FedExCup points list and is trying to regain his PGA Tour card. He tied for sixth in the first Finals event and is currently fourth – with 25 players earning cards at the end of the four-event set – in the standings.
 
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limpalong

limpalong

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Stickers on his clubs? USGA SNAFU.
Every participant on the U.S. President's Cup team should place small USGA stickers on each of their clubs. Wonder if they would disqualify the entire team for protesting with something that in no way gives those players an advantage over any other.

If I catch an iron fat and end up with dirt embedded in the grooves, sole, etc. I will attempt to clean it off. Sometimes it is difficult to get every particle of dirt/mud removed. Were I to knowingly leave a few grains of dirt on the face of the club, because I didn't have a brush to remove it, would I be disqualified for bagging a non-conforming club? IMHO, this was another dumb USGA decision.
 

subsonic

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USGA needs to undergo a major overhaul. One of the worst sanctioning bodies in sports. They make the NFL look good.
 

PaPaD

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To be fair, I just read that the stickers were data gathering sensors for a training app. That seems a bit more non-conforming than a price tag or bar code sticker. He put them on and forgot to remove them.
 

TheTrueReview

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To be fair, I just read that the stickers were data gathering sensors for a training app. That seems a bit more non-conforming than a price tag or bar code sticker. He put them on and forgot to remove them.

They would have been like this.

KINGvM1-Face-View2.jpg


They're used in conjunction with launch monitors and swing evaluators like TrackMan and the like.

The dots are really adhesive and difficult to remove. I have them on my driver face and my 6 iron. My golf coach put them there. It's easier to leave them on for when I visit him at his teaching facility. I get absolutely no benefit for them being there in a normal round. They only "work" when used in conjunction with a TrackMan etc.

I do understand the USGA's broader concerns. I understand the opposing arguments. It's a difficult one. I know I breach the rules when play a competition round when they're on the face of the club. But again, there's absolutely benefit to my game for them being there.
 

TEA Time

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Sometimes it would benefit the USGA to think about the "spirit" of a rule rather than the "letter" of the rule.

Are they really looking for a competitive advantage?
If you give them an inch, they'll take a mile. Best to err on not giving the inch.
 
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limpalong

limpalong

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If you give them an inch, they'll take a mile. Best to err on not giving the inch.
Exactly what I learned dealing with contractors over the years. Just like teenagers. Allow them to "bend" something one time, even though it would not jeopardize the integrity of the project, and the next time they'd be using matchsticks where it called for 2 X 12's.
There are some instances where I could see the "not giving an inch" extremely important to preserving the integrity of the Game. If this incident had not resulted in a penalty, would we see someone smearing Vaseline on their club face, saying "You let him put stickers on his!" I still believe the Track Man stickers would have had no effect on the club and would not have given Crane an advantage. To allow it, though, where do you draw the line? I remember when Greg Norman was DQ'd for using a "non-conforming" ball. Had something to do with the logo on the ball or some other minor thing. Maxfli had not submitted a ball with that specific marking to the USGA for approval. Craig Stadler booted for laying a towel down to kneel on while hitting his ball from under a tree. Been some interesting DQ's over the years, many not IMHO giving the player an unfair advantage over the field. Yet, the USGA has seemed to remain quite steadfast in strict interpretation of the rules and application of penalties.
 

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