JULI INKSTER UNKNOWINGLY BREACHED Rule 14-3 at the Safeco Classic over the weekend and was disqualified after completing her round. The Hall of Famer was three strokes off the lead when she used a weighted device known as a “donut” on her 9 iron to warm up on the 10th tee.
A TV viewer who watched Inkster on Golf Channel emailed tournament officials who in turn alerted the LPGA rules folks. After being informed of the DQ, Inktser left the course without speaking to reporters. She later issued this brief statement:
“It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is. I’m very disappointed.”
If you read 14-3. Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment on pages 48 and 49 in the 2010-2011 The Rules of Golf, you might be scratching your head as to the Inkster rules breach. That’s because the infraction pertains to a USGA decision related to 14-3:
14-3/10 Use of Training or Swing Aid During RoundInkster clearly violated the rule. Case closed. Should she have known the rule? You might already know how The Rules Geek feels about that.
Q. During a round, may a player make a stroke or a practice swing using a club with a weighted headcover or “donut” on it, or use any other device designed as a training or swing aid?
A. No. The player would be using an artificial device to assist him in his play in breach of Rule 14-3, but see also Decision 4-4a/7 for use of a weighted training club.
That said, The Rules Geek doesn’t like TV tattletales. It’s weird. Stop it, OK? Unless you can stake your life on iron-clad proof of intent.
The Rules Geek sez rules were made to be followed. Got a rules-related tip or story? Send it to The Rules Geek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Image: Keith Allison/Flickr)