Golfer Nailed with Whopping 58-Stroke Penalty After Accidentally Breaking New Rule
Lee Ann Walker had an interesting week — to put it mildly — at the Senior LPGA Championship on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick in Indiana.
Walker missed the cut following two rounds of play by a whopping 59 strokes.
That doesn’t tell the whole story, though. Walker, you see, unknowingly had been breaking a new rule implemented earlier this year throughout her first round of play and some of her second.
Walker, who hasn’t played full time on the LPGA tour since 2008, had her caddie help line her up for putts until she was informed by her playing partners on the fifth hole of her second round (the 14th hole of the course) that this was against the rules.
“This is my first competitive round since 2011 or 2012,” Walker told Golfweek. “Now that I don’t play the LPGA anymore, I don’t watch golf. I knew there were rules changes. I just honestly didn’t know ’em. Just plain and simple. My stupidity for not going over the rules changes.”
Specifically, Rule 10.2b(4) of the U.S. Golf Association’s Rules of Golf reads: “When a player begins taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made: The player’s caddie must not deliberately stand in a location on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.”
While the rules officials mulled the situation over, they told Walker to keep playing. She ended up shooting a 74, one day after posting a score of 85.
“They made me aware of it on 14 or 15, and I called a rules official to ask what to do,” she told The Associated Press. “They had me continue playing so they could have a conference on the violation and what I needed to do.”
Both of her original scores were respectable. Unfortunately for Walker, they wouldn’t last.
The 58 penalty strokes is harsh. But we won’t get as many “golf rules are so dumb” comments as before thanks to the NFL.
— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) October 16, 2019
This meant 42 strokes were added to her first-round score and another 16 to her second-round score.
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She ended up with a two-day score of 127-90 — 73 strokes over par, according to Fox News. While it sounds like a lot, it’s actually somewhat impressive when you consider that over her final 13 holes, she played at just 1-over par, even though she probably knew at that point that she’d be penalized.
“What can you do at that point?” Walker said. “It was my fault for not knowing the rules. I don’t have anyone to blame but myself. Big lesson learned.”
And Walker is taking at least one positive from the whole experience.
“I may have made the Guinness Book of World Records,” she told the AP.
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