PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 12: Jordan Spieth of the United States putts on the seventh green during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Spyglass Hill Golf Course on February 12, 2021 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Time for a change in golf rules with Spieth DQ

When a rule is put in place be it in life or athletics, it is usually put in place for a good and justifiable reason.

But there comes a time when rules need to evolve – a time where the rule may be more of a hinderance than needed.

An example in sports was brought to the forefront this past weekend at The Genesis Invitational PGA Tour event in Southern California.

Following the second round of the tournament golfer Jordan Spieth was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. What happened in this case was earlier in the round Spieth had a bogey on the par 3, 4th hole but a “3” was written down on the card.

Once Spieth – who had double bogeyed the 18th and final hole – signed his card with the incorrect score on the 4th and left the scoring room, he was disqualified.

Under rule 3.3(b) of the USGA Rules of Golf, Spieth was disqualified for returning a score lower than his actual score.

One of the classiest guys on the PGA Tour, Spieth took full accountability for his mistake, saying, “rules are rules.”

My point – why is this still a rule?

Of course, this is the first nor the biggest incorrect scorecard signing.

In the 1968 Masters, Roberto De Vicenzio of Argentina signed an incorrect scorecard that was actually one stroke higher. He was upset after bogeying the 18th hole.

His correct score would have put him into a tie for first and he would have been in a playoff the next day. Instead, he was disqualified.

De Vicenzio took it with class as well, taking full blame.

The rule made more sense back then as there was not the technology there is today. Scorers are sent out with every group these days, recording the score on each hole.

There is no good reason why players are held accountable for this any longer.

Rules in athletics change when technology advances. Almost without exception – almost – golf is an honorable sport, one where golfers call penalties on themselves.

Can you imagine in football if an offensive lineman called holding on himself? How about a defensive back calling pass interference on themselves?

Wouldn’t happen.

I think it’s time for the game of golf to evolve and remove the responsibility of keeping count of their own score. There is a pretty damn good system of checks and balances available – and used – so embrace it and move forward.

By the time someone reaches the PGA Tour, they have embraced all the life lessons that golf offers to younger golfers.

There is no chance of cheating as when every shot is recorded and tracked, there is no chance to shave a stroke here and there.

I have always considered myself a golf purist, but I am also a realist and this is the time for the organizing bodies in golf to be realists as well.