Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rule 6-6d: The Rules of Golf Become Kinder and Gentler

George Gandranata is a friend and former Cal golfer.  He plays on the Asian Development Tour.  A few weeks ago he received a four stroke penalty.  His caddie had gone to fetch some water while George’s group was putting on the 14th green.  Unfortunately, the caddie accepted a ride back, which is a two stroke penalty under tour rules.  George didn’t find out about the ride until after he had finished his round, and signed and returned his scorecard.

Previous to this year, since George returned a card without the two stroke penalty, he would have been disqualified for submitting a card with a score lower than he was due.  This year Rule 6-6d says that if the competitor incurs a penalty he was unaware of, he is not DQ’d.  He receives the penalty and an additional two strokes for each breach of the rules.  So George received the two stroke penalty for his caddie's ride, and the two strokes under 6-6d.  His first round 67 became a 71.   George recovered to finish 18th.

There’s a happy ending, however.  The very next week George became the first player from Indonesia to win on the Asian Development Tour. 

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