When Lexi Thompson walked off the final green at the ANA Inspiration in tears this April after being handed a four-shot penalty earlier in her round, many felt she had been robbed of her second major title.
While it may be too late for the American, who was handed the penalty after a viewer called in on the final day to inform officials of a minor rules infringement on the day previous, the incident appears to have served as a tipping point in regards to a rule many believe should have been changed long ago.
Luckily that will be the last time a viewer call-in will influence the result in a major championship, after the R&A and USGA announced today that they have unanimously agreed to adopt a new set of protocols for video review when applying the Rules of Golf.
The sweeping changes which will apply to all major tours will include the following revisions:
- Assign one or more officials to monitor the video broadcast of a competition to help identify and resolve Rules issues as they arise
- Discontinue any steps to facilitate or consider viewer call-ins as part of the Rules decision process
In addition, The R&A and the USGA have approved the adoption of a Local Rule, available from 1 January, to eliminate the additional two-stroke penalty for failing to include a penalty on the score card when the player was unaware of the penalty. All of the organisations represented on the working group will introduce the Local Rule for 2018 and this score card penalty will be permanently removed when the modernised Rules of Golf take effect on 1 January 2019.
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