Stupid rule

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Stupid rule
Isn't it about time the Evian Ladies Tour and the Women's PGA got real? To penalise Sophie Gustafson because her caddie wanted a toilet break and accepted a lift back to the first playoff hole on a buggy, is ridiculous. The poor guy was trying to save time by having her clubs transported back to the 18th tee. Surely this isn't within the spirit of the game to penalise the Swede. Surely Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, with millions watching on television saved time by hitching a ride to playoff the NEC event. If it's good enough for the PGA Tour, surely it's good enough for the European officials? And besides, if Laura Davies was prepared to overlook the incident at the time, isn't she guilty of agreeing to waive the rules, so is equally at fault.?

What is that rule anyway? It says in todays Telegraph rule 33. I can't find anything in rule 33 that says 'Thy Caddie shalt not take a wee break in the middle of a round'.

Whatever the rule is, it does seem pretty stupid. From the report in the paper and what you say Bob, it seems that Laura Davies didn't really want to win her match that way.

I agree, it was a very unfortunate incident and one where "turning a blind eye" would have been the sensible option. BUT, rule 1 is the can't waive golf rules - so when followed to the dot, silly decisions like this happen. It was obvious that in no way would in enhance Sophie's chance to win and a little leeway in such circumstances should be afforded, in my opinion.

Nick - it's a tournament rule that players and caddies shall walk at all times, unless escorted by a tournament official under agreed circumstances.

Daft, and very sad that Sophie lost her chance to get into the final.

This rule is about unfair advantage Bob. They were hardly going to DQ Woods and Furyk when both had gained the same benefit from getting in the buggy. I think the most pertinent quote is at the end.

As Davies said:
"There were absolutely no advantages at all," said Davies of Hoersch getting
a lift. You could say that 36-holes in one day, a ride on a cart might be an advantage, but I know it makes no difference, you know it makes no

"But the rules have to be there so someone doesn't keep getting on a cart."

Laura must feel a bit off too about getting into the final without a proper, deserved win. Especially having then won the final. I know it would be in the back of my mind walking up for the winners prize.

Both are top players and it could have gone either way. Sad for everyone not to see who would have really made it to the final if play had continued. C'est la vie!

I agree entirely with all the comments made regarding this farcical situation, but as I understand it a sheet was issued to each competitor stating that a Buggie could only be used on two specific holes due to the long walk getting to the appropriate Tee.
Having declared this local rule and applying it was the reason why the Player/Caddie was penalised by the officials.
Although it seems ridiculous to penalise a Player for something that was of no advantage whatsoever, it was the local rule that was applicable on the day.
Laura Davis suggested that she would be happy to play on, but that, in my view, was just 'window dressing'as both she and her Caddie stated on Television that they were aware that the other Caddie had broken the local rule and you just cannot change things to suit the occasion.
Laura Davis however, played very steady in the final and was a deserved winner.
For those who have played Gleneagles some of the walks between Tees spoils it, although it is a very good Course.

An official response from the Tour:

"The Evian Tour has a tournament rules sheet for each event, and clearly marked on each Tournament rules card, it states, "All players and their caddies must walk at all times in any stipulated round"

The playoff is still part of the stipulated round and as such, it is a breach of the rules, unfortunately for Ms Gustafson and her caddie Chuck Hoersch.

As for the Tiger/Furyk incident, the PGA Tour also have that rule in place for their Tournaments, (So I am told by David Pepper, incoming Chairman of the R&A rules committee) and such a situation would warrant further investigation. However, with the permission of a rules official, the use of the cart can be permitted, hence Tiger and Furyk were within the rules.

At Gleneageagles, carts were in use to give players a lift from the second to third tees and other places where there was a long and steep walk. That was written under the local Tournament rules, but the shuttle was not in place between the 18th and the 1st holes.

As an experienced Tour caddie, Chuck Hoersch was aware of the rule and only after the event did he realise his error, and he took the lift in all innocence, unfortunately, because it was spotted by the Tournament Director, he had no other option than to report it to the match official, David Pepper.

As for Laura Davies wishing to carry on and forget about the incident, we all now know that she is not in any position to do that as she would waive the rules of golf.

Laura has aslo been in that position and it only cost her a two shot penalty when she made a birdie two at a hole in Atlanta.

The bottom line is - many people, including the majority of rules officials appreciate that it is a silly rule, but it is a rule nevertheless.

And to quote the incoming chairman of the R&A Committee:

"If we start turning a blind eye at the most trivial of rules, we risk breaking down the whole fabric of the game"

What? You mean I didn;t get a response to that!???

C'mon guys, you must have an opinion on silly rules!

Rules are rules Martin. Start to waive them, and the very foundations, upon which the game has been established, will start to crumble.

I would hate Martin to think nobody was appreciating his effort in contacting the Tour for an explanation on Sophie Gustafson disqualification...we do, we do etc.
How about the rule that drives me crazy :-
If you are in a seeded divot you can lift and drop without penalty, but if the divot is not seeded you have to play as it lies.
In my opinion this is total nonsense as it then depends how good Green Staff are at seeding etc, but has nothing to do with Golf.

That is another stupid rule Bill. I hate hitting a good shot and finding myself in a divot - it stinks. Especially when you can't take relief. Not only does it penalise you for your next shot, but it does the course no good either to further damage that spot.

ANOTHER stupid rule is not being able to repair spike marks on the green when they are on the line of your putt. Arggghh!!!