On October 19th, we witnessed a strange rules controversy concluded by the resignation of the head rules official Choi Jin –ha.
During the KB Financial Star Championship in Korea, 2 players were penalised because they marked their ball while the ball was lying on the fringe instead of the green. On a particular hole, it was difficult to see the exact limit of the green and the fringe.
Choi Hye-jin and Park You-na received a 2-stroke penalty, Choi was the leader of the tournament with a 66. A few hours later, the Committee is aware that 4 others girls made the same breach of the rules. They had already signed and returned their score cards soo this is a 2-strokes penalty for returning a wrong score card plus the penalty for marking the ball outside the green.
The Rules Committee decided at that point to cancel all the penalties.
From that moment all hell broke loose. A player’s meeting took place late on Thursday to discuss this decision and many players said they will withdraw from the tournament if the penalties were rescinded and many others saying they would walk if it was enforced.
FINAL DECISION: The Committee took a surprising decision, they cancelled the first round. The tournament will be only played in 54 holes.
The Head Rules official decided to resign
My comment: We rarely see a round cancelled. In my job I hate to do that and actually I never done it. Is their situations where we should? Maybe. Have I made mistake in my job? Oh yes!!!
As for the actual controversy, it all started by not marking properly the course. This situation should have been expected before the competition started. As an example, when a Committee decides to put in place preferred lies on the closely mown areas, we must make sure the edges are obvious not to penalised players because they were between the 2 areas.
This is why the work done before the start of the competition is more important than what we have to do during the rounds.