Perhaps it’s the first time you’ve seen the word “cretinous” in a golf headline. Perhaps I’m simply fed up with this senseless rule, yet somehow had the foresight to edit the adjective I truly wished to use. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: golfer attempts to correct error he believes he made but is rebuffed; television-watching wonkers call in to protest; tournament officials determine a penalty was appropriate before next round begins, but disqualify competitor anyway.
Sincerely, doesn’t it run against all logic? Whiteford believed he had made a mistake, yet his caddie, cameraman and playing competitor all said “no,” so Whiteford played on. Before another shot was fired (and Whiteford was leading the tournament!) European Tour officials reviewed footage and said that all three witnesses were incorrect. Who suffered? Whiteford.
Why does professional golf insist on getting this wrong, every single time? Apply the penalty and let the player play on. No, you cannot review every single shot from every single player, but if a concern arises, don’t make annihilation the only recourse.
I understand that golf wishes to preserve its unique integrity (in the face of the divers in soccer, the holders in US football and the foulers and goaltenders in basketball, not to mention the goons of hockey lore) but is going overboard to do so the proper way?
No, it’s not.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Whiteford completed round 3 and was in contention. He was removed from the course on the 4th hole, on day 4, a good 1.5 days after the infraction. Somehow, it just gets worse. Other sports laugh at golf and its manic adherence to a specious code of honor.