As many of you know, I don’t watch golf unless Tiger is playing. The Presidents Cup is going on right now at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey and I have not been following it at all… Until today. Today, Jordan Spieth broke a rule.
All square in his afternoon match paired with Patrick Reed, Spieth stopped Louis Oosthuizen’s golf ball as it rolled past the cup on the 12th hole. The rules official walking with the match informed Spieth that he’d violated Rule 1-2 by exerting influence on an opponent’s golf ball, which resulted in his disqualification from the hole and the eventual loss of the hole. Apparently, even if the golf ball isn’t going in the hole, and has no chance of going in the hole, the ball is still moving, and technically could find the bottom of the cup. There was some confusion, Tiger got involved, and as a matter of fact, the rules official basically told Tiger to shut up. Anyway, this went on for a few minutes, but it ended with Jordan being disqualified from the hole.
Looking at the leaderboard, this is not a big deal. The United States isn’t going to lose. There was a good chance they would clinch before the end of the day. I think it is interesting that people are outraged by this decision. Yes, the US team was unhappy. I get that. Jordan broke a rule. Whether he knew the rule or not, that has nothing to do with the fact he broke it. The rules of golf are complicated, and I don’t necessarily agree with all of them. Jordan broke a rule and that is where it needs to end.
I had a conversation with a guy on Twitter that claims the growth of the game has stalled because of the rules of golf. He thinks the rules need to be reviewed and that the rules need to change in an effort to grow the game. I could not disagree with that more. Tell me a situation where anyone that is reading this blog will ever be in a situation where this rule will come up. Jordan is a professional golfer and has been playing the game for many years. He didn’t even know this rule! How is that stopping the guy at home from picking up the clubs this Saturday morning?
I mean, look. No one on the golf course knew this rule except for the rules official. It sucks. Jordan broke a rule. It really is simple as that. The same way he would get penalized for grounding his club in a bunker or hitting a ball out of bounds. It sucks, but the rules of golf need to be embraced for what they are. If they change them, great. But until then, there is no reason to argue the fact that he did. Stop saying, “The rules of golf are silly,” because at the end of the day, he broke a rule and was disqualified from the hole.
I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think this has an impact on the growth of the game? From where I sit, the game is growing. In regards to the PGA TOUR and daily fee/outside play, Tiger has a lot to do with that. From where I sit, the future is bright.
Congratulations to Team USA on winning the 2017 Presidents Cup.