Lexi Thompson, other golfers react to new USGA rules eliminating call-in penalties

Lexi Thompson, other golfers react to new USGA rules eliminating call-in penalties

Lexi Thompson, other golfers react to new USGA rules eliminating call-in penalties

So for example, if you see that a golfer grounded his club in a sand trap but no rules official caught it at the event, you could call in, report the infraction, and then the USGA would review the play and possibly assess a penalty.

Referring to a working group, including representatives of the major professional golf tours, which agreed on a "new set of video protocols", the USGA said the committee "does not need or want outside intervention by viewers who believe they may have seen a Rules violation on the video broadcast". Specifically, the USGA and R&A announced this local rule will no longer allow officials to consider rules violations raised by spectators using video evidence from a television broadcast or captured on site by a mobile phone or other capture device.

Thompson went on to lose the tournament in the playoffs and the incident caused massive outcry.

The new protocols will be implemented starting on January 1.

Thompson had been leading by three in the final round and walking to the 13th tee when she was stopped by a rules official, who told her of the penalty.

The changes being introduced on 1 January also include the introduction of a local rule to prevent players potentially being harshly hit for an infringement they were unaware of.

Viewers calling in and reporting issues - often rules officials watching from home - has been a controversial issue for golf in recent years, with Tiger Woods being engulfed in a particularly infamous situation at the Masters in 2013.

David Rickman, the Executive Director of Governance at the R&A, said: "This has clearly become an important issue in the sport that we felt we should address at this stage ahead of the implementation of the updated Rules of Golf in 2019. In my case, I am thankful that no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future".

"We have concluded that whilst players should continue to be penalized for all breaches of the Rules during a competition, including any that come to light after the score card is returned, an additional penalty for the score card error is not required".

The working group was created in April to review the use of video in applying the rules and the role of viewer call-ins, and initially issued a decision to limit the use of video through the introduction of the "reasonable judgment" and "naked eye" standard.

Latest News