Monday, April 3, 2017

Snoop dogs

We all know golf is kind of a bizarre sport anyway, what with John Daly's retina-searing pants, and the occasional tendency for even the best players to lapse inexplicably into weekend hacker mode, and all the evil gremlins who lie in wait to grab your ball and throw it in the water, or the sand, or the deep, deep woods.

But the notion that some guy living in his mom's basement can report a rules violation that changes the course of a tournament truly takes the game to Wack City.

There is no analogy for this in any other sport, which golfers somehow take as a point of pride but which actually is an indictment of their sport's innate weirdness. And it doesn't get much weirder than what happened Sunday to Lexi Thompson.

What happened was, Mom's Basement Guy likely cost her a major.

An e-mail from some sad-sack TV viewer compelled rules officials to review something that happened not on Sunday but on the day before. What happened was, Thompson marked her ball an inch or so incorrectly on one hole. Sad Sack apparently noticed in this, and, not having a life of his own, ratted her out.

And so a two-shot lead for Thompson magically became a two-shot deficit after officials docked her a four-stroke penalty -- again, for something that happened in the preceding round. And she lost in a playoff.

Which is pure unadulterated bull you-know-what.

The Blob has said this before, and it will say it again: There is no way, none, that some clown sitting at home watching on TV should be able to impact a golf tournament in this way. Frankly, it makes your sport a joke. And both the PGA and LPGA should forthwith make it illegal.

Here's the deal: The ruling bodies of golf have rules officials on the course to detect just these kinds of violations (and this one, frankly, was picayunish even by golf standards). It's their job to see these things and rule accordingly. It is not the job of Mom's Basement Guy -- and it's especially not the job of Mom's Basement Guy to report something from a round that's already official.

Sorry, but if the rules officials miss something, they miss something. That's how it works everywhere else, and that's how it should work in golf. Especially in cases, like this one, where no one can definitively say that Thompson mis-marking her ball by a fingernail on a tap-in accorded her an unfair advantage.

If you can't say that, you shouldn't be able to go back after the fact and enact a penalty on the say-so of some anonymous viewer. You missed the call. Move on.

There are no do-overs in life. There shouldn't be in golf, either.

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