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The Vijay Infraction Finally Settled....

Augster

Rules Nerd
Supporting Member
Mar 9, 2005
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Well gents, it turns out I was correct. Since the competition is LONG since over, there is nothing they can do about it. Getting Vijay DQ'd was not really my mission. Finding out whether WE, your average everyday golfers, can test the conditions of a hazard in the same situation Vijay was in.

As it turns out, we can't.

First, here's my original email:

I need a clarification of Rule 13-4. I think I'm right, as I know how
to read, and just want your back up.

Ford Open at Doral, 10th hole, Sunday. Vijay Singh is in a bunker,
chunks it to another bunker. He proceeds to take AT LEAST two practice
swings, in the bunker, bringing up sand BOTH TIMES. He was about to do
a 3rd as the camera pulled away.

As I read it, this is in direct violation of Rule 13-4a Test the
condition of the hazard or any similiar hazard. If he did it
twice(that I KNOW of) he should have been asessed 4 penalty strokes. As it is, he signed an incorrect scorecard, which is a DQ, so the scoring is moot.

I just want to know for my next round.

I have always played it the way I READ it in Rule 13-4. Am I wrong? I
know, if the ball ended in a different spot in the same bunker I'd be
able to rake the previous spot as long as it doesn't unfairly affect my
next shot.

Not a single mention of it came from the announcers. It ruined the
rest
of the afternoon for me. Doesn't ANYONE know the rules? So, maybe I'm
wrong and I've been playing "too strict".

Thanks for any answers you can provide.

AND NOW THE USGA's Final Reply:

Dear Sir,

During play of the 10th hole in the fourth round of the 2005 Ford
Championship at Doral, Vijay Singh played his third stroke from a
fairway bunker, resulting in his ball coming to rest in a greenside
bunker. Subsequent to the ball coming to rest in the greenside bunker,
Mr. Singh took two practice swings in the fairway bunker contacting the
ground with both practice swings.

Rule 13-4a prohibits a player, when his ball lies in a hazard, from
testing the condition of the hazard or a similar hazard. By striking
the sand in the fairway bunker with these practice swings when his ball
lay in the greenside bunker, Mr. Singh was in breach of Rule 13-4a.

The penalty, in stroke play, for this breach is two strokes regardless of
the number of practice swings taken by the player (see Decision
1-4/12).

Neither Mr. Singh nor the Committee in charge of the Ford Championship
at Doral were aware that Mr. Singh had been in breach of Rule 13-4a
prior to the close of the competition; therefore, as provided in Rule
34-1b, the penalty was not applied.

The Rules of Golf Committees of the USGA and R&A have discussed the
issue of testing the condition of hazards and will continue to do so.

Thank you for your interest in the Rules of Golf. The Rules and
Decision mentioned above along with Frequently Asked Questions on the
Rules of Golf can be found on the USGA's website at
http://www.usga.org/rules.

Sincerely,

Bernie Loehr
Rules of Golf Associate
USGA
 

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Admin
Aug 30, 2004
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Excellent work, Aug.

I'm glad that the original thread was posted, discussed, alot of yelling went on, and finally we have some closure. This is exactly how it should have been handled. Expose the truth, even if it's just for closure.

Now, can you send out some e-mails and find out why gas is so expensive in my town when we have a petroleum refinery less that 100 feet from the city outskirts? :canadafla

Again, nice work.

R35
 

Jay McNasty

High Altitude Hacker
Aug 22, 2005
115
0
Very cool that they took the time to examine the matter and admit a mistake. Nothing could be done about it after the fact anyway so it looks good for them to fess up.
 

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
5,822
15
Thanks for the follow up. I got the same form letter from the USGA you did on the original question...
 

LottaBalata

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2005
381
0
Yeah, no offense to Vijay, but whoa!?!?! I can't believe he did that. Not grounding the club in a bunker except when making contact with the ball (OR being in a practice bunker!!). Jeez, I had no idea he did that. I guess I feel that way because that was one of the first important rules of golf I learned as a teen. I don't see how he couldn't know that//probably didn't care at the time, being upset after hitting into the next bunker!

Interesting topic
 

Kilted Arab

Well-Known Member
Apr 30, 2005
1,202
4
I don't suppose vj has made any comment on this, has he?

Monty was pilloried after the incident in Asia where his ball may not have been correctly replaced following a rain stoppage.

Has vj suffered the same hounding?
 
OP
Augster

Augster

Rules Nerd
Supporting Member
Mar 9, 2005
1,473
23
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
To my knowledge, Vijay doesn't even know about it. I am emailing the PGATour, AGAIN, now that I've gotten this ruling back from the USGA. I emailed, and called, the PGATour the day of, and the day after it happened with no email returned, and no call-back. Cocksuckers.

The problem was, at the time, even the USGA didn't know for certain whether it was an infraction or not. If they didn't know, how could Vijay have known? They actually had to get together with the R&A and make a decision on the ruling. This happened months after Vijay's actions, so it's not really possible to cite Vijay for it.

I'd just like to bring it to his, and ANY tour or recreational player, that may try that in the future. I'd hate to see a guy lose a major because he didn't know the rule.

I mean, it's a situation that tour players NEVER find themselves in. Rec players it happens only occasionally. To actually hit it into a DIFFERENT bunker from a previous bunker is pretty rare. Leaving it in the same bunker is quite common. Just watch the Open Championship with all those pot bunkers. But to hit it into a different bunker, it just doesn't happen very often.
 

ualtim

Carrollton, TX
Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2005
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I have been known to go bunker to bunker more often than I care to admit :D

Small or narrow green surrounded by bunkers. Leave the first bunker shot in the same bunker, make sure that I do not leave it that bunker again and put it across the green into the other bunker. :mad:

Does slamming your SW into the sand count as testing the surface if you go bunker to bunker? :emot-ange
 
OP
Augster

Augster

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Mar 9, 2005
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Does slamming your SW into the sand count as testing the surface if you go bunker to bunker?

Yes.

That's one of the most important reasons I brought this up.

But, in a different variation, if you skull your sand shot OB, you can test the conditions all you want, then rake, then drop in the bunker again.

But if your ball is in play, in a different bunker, you aren't allowed to ground your club, practice, or test the conditions of any like hazard, in any way until you get your ball out of the hazard and back on the course.

Then you can go crazy hitting sand with practice swings. :D
 

cabinessence

Never Say Die
Jul 28, 2005
534
0
Does slamming your club into the hazard in anger really count as testing the surface? The last thing I'm thinking about when I get that mad is how soft or hard the sand is. After all, you're allowed to rest your bag very gently in the sand as long as you aren't deemed to have been testing the surface.
 

Don

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2005
203
1
bunker?

I didn't see this happen live, so I'd like to ask a question. You say VJ hit out of a fairway bunker and the ball ended up in the greenside bunker. When VJ took the two swings in the fairway bunker and made contact with the sand, DID HE KNOW THAT HIS BALL WAS IN THE OTHER BUNKER, DOWN BY THE GREEN? If he didn't know the ball was in the greenside bunker, he would have no reason to "test the sand", and it could be claimed that he was just mad at himself and letting out a little frustration hitting the club into the sand. From what I understand of what happened, he wasn't "testing the sand", as much as he was striking his club against the ground because he was mad he made a poor shot. And is there any one out there that hasn't done the same thing after a poor shot?
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
Don said:
I didn't see this happen live, so I'd like to ask a question. You say VJ hit out of a fairway bunker and the ball ended up in the greenside bunker. When VJ took the two swings in the fairway bunker and made contact with the sand, DID HE KNOW THAT HIS BALL WAS IN THE OTHER BUNKER, DOWN BY THE GREEN? If he didn't know the ball was in the greenside bunker, he would have no reason to "test the sand", and it could be claimed that he was just mad at himself and letting out a little frustration hitting the club into the sand. From what I understand of what happened, he wasn't "testing the sand", as much as he was striking his club against the ground because he was mad he made a poor shot. And is there any one out there that hasn't done the same thing after a poor shot?
Excellent post, Don. I agree.

My opinion on the subject has changed very little since the subject was brought up the first time. Then, I said that home viewers have no place officiating a tournament, and those who try should spend that time better on-course or whatever... Put that much time and thought into your own game, and imagine what may happen.

Now, here we are MONTHS later...

Get my drift?
 

Rockford35

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I don't really think this is so much about people off the course putting in their two cents. I mean, Vijay isn't going to have anything happen to him over this.

It's more of an oversight by the marshalls at the time. People are human, they make mistakes. But it's interesting to think you have a beef, take it up with the governing body to find your right.

I play by strict rules within my own game when i play. But, I also play with guys that are hacks, so a foot wedge or lie adjustment here or there doesn't bother me one bit. Tree in the way of your backswing? Move it. Might as well take a 6 on this hole instead of a 9.

I only play against myself. I know bloody well going into a match I'm going to beat the guys I play with by at least 15 strokes. And that's if I'm playing OK. I'm not ruffling my own feathers here, I just play with shitty golfers. :)

But, if one of those golfers was to say to me "Hey, you can't practice out of the bunker because you just chunked your bunker shot into that bunker closer to the green - two stroke penalty!", i'd take the strokes. And more power to them. My not knowing the rules is what precipitated the rules violation and therefore the strokes penalty.

I'm glad this has been discussed and researched and finally proven correct. But that's the end of it. To me, it's interesting on a golfing level, but it carries the same weight as if I were to find out that hot dogs weren't lips and *******s, they were actually cheeks and snouts. :biglol:

R35
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
2,207
276
I agree Rock. Well put.

My beef with this whole situation is in home viewers getting involved in professional tournaments, in home viewers using the internet to judge and soil a player's reputation, and basically in home viewers not having the faith in the PGA to govern itself. As Don brought up, if VJ didn't know that he layed in a bunker then there would have been no violation. If the ruling official ruled that Stewart Sink broke no rules in the hazard then there was no violation, yet he is known in many circles as a cheater for no other reason than a home viewer trying to officiate that tourney.

My problem is with quotes like the following, taken verbatim from the original post on this matter several months ago.

" Did anyone else see Vijay cheat on Sunday??
I'm sorry, I have to get this off my chest. Hopefully someone here knows somebody, a writer, a rules official, ANYONE, involved with the PGA Tour. I have been trying since Sunday night. First, to get a hold of and make sure Vijay didn't sign and incorrect card. Then, after the round, to make sure he was DQ'd for signing said incorrect card.

Watching Doral Sunday, I couldn't believe NOBODY said anything about it. I have tried contacting the PGA Tour via email. Of course nobody gets back to me, same as after the Nissan. So, I CALL the PGA Tour, get a voicemail, and nothing is done about it. I wrote an email to Golf Central on TGC HOPING that maybe THEY'd follow up on it. I wrote to the USGA also just to make sure I MYSELF am playing the Rule Correctly. The USGA usually takes 3 or 4 weeks to get back to you, but they do get back. I also wrote to Gary Van Sickel's mailbag at CNNSI.com where I've gotten in before."

Calling a man a cheater is bad enough. Making calls to alter the outcome of a professional tournament is about as bad as it gets in my book. Especially when we as viewers aren't as apprised of the situations as we think we are.

Peace...
 

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