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Eliminate the DQ for an incorrect scorecard on the PGA Tour


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With Cameron Tringale being DQ'd from the PGA Championship today for signing an incorrect scorecard, I want to ask: why in the world is this still a rule on the PGA Tour? In my opinion, this a rule that has long since ceased being useful at the top level of the game, when there's zero question about what a guy actually shot.

When is the last time that, on the PGA Tour, a guy signed an incorrect card on purpose to try to gain an advantage? You can't possibly get away with it. So if it's not possible to cheat this way, why DQ a guy for it?

Obviously, in *most* golf events played at every level other than the PGA Tour, this rule absolutely makes sense. There aren't rules officials all over the course. It would be possible for a guy to cheat by signing a fraudulent score, and so it is absolutely essential that the competitors turn in an honest card. That does make golf different than other sports.

But on the PGA Tour level? I just don't get it. Can someone make an argument that this should be part of the game on the highest pro tour?

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I agree it certainly doesn't warrant a DQ. If anything, it should be a 1 or 2 stroke penalty.  What even constitutes an incorrect card? Is it just total score? If I screw up and write a 6 & 5 for consecutive holes when I really had a 5 & 6 is that an incorrect card because those holes are wrong even though my total score is correct? 

What were the circumstances for his incorrect card today?

Edit: Just read what happened. I think a 1 stroke penalty in situations like this where the player identifies the error would be appropriate. 

Edited by ChitownM2
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I could go either way on it. I see your point and think it's valid, but accurate score keeping is an integral part of the game. While I won't say it's impossible, I don't think that guys are out there trying to fudge their score - they might take questionable drops or make questionable practice swings (Patrick Reed). I think incorrect scorecards occur when a player doesn't have a proper understanding of the rules and fails to assess the proper number of penalty strokes or something. However, there are far too many people available for questioning to ensure you have a correct scorecard. Also, isn't it on all the players in a group to verify the accuracy of scores? I'm honestly not sure how it works on the tour, but if players are supposed to track each others' scores or at least verify correct scorecards then why aren't the other players within a group penalized? 

Ultimately, I think the reason the rule is enforced is because the USGA and R&A have committed to non-bifurcation of the rules (so-far) and the tours aren't about to implement their own rules as to how the game is played. It'd be far too messy and likely damage a lot of partnerships and potentially brand image, viewership, and ratings.

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Your argument has merit, but the rule exists for all players, not just those competing on the PGA Tour.  It pertains to the guy playing his club championship, the city championships, and all other amateur, as well as professional, events.  While it would be difficult to pull off at the PGA level, it would be far more foreseeable as an egregious attempt to cheat at a less visible event such as a club championship.

 

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2 minutes ago, TR1PTIK said:

I could go either way on it. I see your point and think it's valid, but accurate score keeping is an integral part of the game. While I won't say it's impossible, I don't think that guys are out there trying to fudge their score - they might take questionable drops or make questionable practice swings (Patrick Reed). I think incorrect scorecards occur when a player doesn't have a proper understanding of the rules and fails to assess the proper number of penalty strokes or something. However, there are far too many people available for questioning to ensure you have a correct scorecard. Also, isn't it on all the players in a group to verify the accuracy of scores? I'm honestly not sure how it works on the tour, but if players are supposed to track each others' scores or at least verify correct scorecards then why aren't the other players within a group penalized? 

Ultimately, I think the reason the rule is enforced is because the USGA and R&A have committed to non-bifurcation of the rules (so-far) and the tours aren't about to implement their own rules as to how the game is played. It'd be far too messy and likely damage a lot of partnerships and potentially brand image, viewership, and ratings.

Don't disagree with what you said, but I do think the USGA and R&A take this "one set of rules" thing way too far. 99.9% of the world isn't playing the same game as what happens on the PGA tour and high level amateur events. It's like comparing beer league softball to MLB, yes both groups are taking it seriously, but lets not kid ourselves about the level of competition and skill involved.

I wouldn't have any issues if the pros used special "tour rules" at their events and I sure as hell hope that if they ever decide to to anything about this so-called "distance" problem, that those would only ever apply to the tour as well. Average Joe's just aren't competing at the same level as the PGA tour and what affects one shouldn't be imposed on the other.

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Yep this rule needs to go for the tours. Every shot all tournament long can be recorded and there's dozens of review officials and scoreboards all over. There should be zero question what the correct score is for any player.

This rule does need to stay in place for the amateur level though.

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I don't care one way or the other but:

  1. Not every player is recorded
  2. Rules officials aren't with every group.
  3. why do you think there is zero question on what a player shot?  
  4. Signing a scorecard isn't that hard.  No math has to be done;  it is just the score for each hole. 
  5. The score that is being signed for is their official score;  there isn't any other official score kept.

There would have to be several changes to have a player not keep their own score. 

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12 minutes ago, cnosil said:

I don't care one way or the other but:

  1. Not every player is recorded
  2. Rules officials aren't with every group.
  3. why do you think there is zero question on what a player shot?  
  4. Signing a scorecard isn't that hard.  No math has to be done;  it is just the score for each hole. 
  5. The score that is being signed for is their official score;  there isn't any other official score kept.

There would have to be several changes to have a player not keep their own score

I know that not every shot is on video, not every shot (at most tournaments) is recorded with ShotLink, right?

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2 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

With Cameron Tringale being DQ'd from the PGA Championship today for signing an incorrect scorecard, I want to ask: why in the world is this still a rule on the PGA Tour? In my opinion, this a rule that has long since ceased being useful at the top level of the game, when there's zero question about what a guy actually shot.

When is the last time that, on the PGA Tour, a guy signed an incorrect card on purpose to try to gain an advantage? You can't possibly get away with it. So if it's not possible to cheat this way, why DQ a guy for it?

Obviously, in *most* golf events played at every level other than the PGA Tour, this rule absolutely makes sense. There aren't rules officials all over the course. It would be possible for a guy to cheat by signing a fraudulent score, and so it is absolutely essential that the competitors turn in an honest card. That does make golf different than other sports.

But on the PGA Tour level? I just don't get it. Can someone make an argument that this should be part of the game on the highest pro tour?

I think it’s got a lot to do with what @cnosil spoke too but also like baseball, old school mentality

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19 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

I know that not every shot is on video, not every shot (at most tournaments) is recorded with ShotLink, right?

Yes,  by volunteers that get about 10 minutes of training.   There are also walking scorers who get about 10 minutes of training.   I volunteer as a walking scorer for the LPGA and can tell you that many of the volunteers doing those jobs have no clue.  

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14 minutes ago, Lacassem said:

I think it’s got a lot to do with what @cnosil spoke too but also like baseball, old school mentality

I am not sure that it is even old school mentality.   How hard is it for these guys to kept track of a scorecard?   

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6 minutes ago, cnosil said:

I am not sure that it is even old school mentality.   How hard is it for these guys to kept track of a scorecard?   

I meant more signing the card has been going on for how long? It’s engrained in the game. Kind of like logging a baseball game on paper

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9 minutes ago, Lacassem said:

I meant more signing the card has been going on for how long? It’s engrained in the game. Kind of like logging a baseball game on paper

Yeah, but if a team's scorer messes up the scoring, the team doesn't get an automatic L.

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13 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Yeah, but if a team's scorer messes up the scoring, the team doesn't get an automatic L.

Very true, touché 

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20 hours ago, cnosil said:

Yes,  by volunteers that get about 10 minutes of training.   There are also walking scorers who get about 10 minutes of training.   I volunteer as a walking scorer for the LPGA and can tell you that many of the volunteers doing those jobs have no clue.  

This is a good point. I've volunteered as a walking scorer before and while those scores are live-updating the digital scoreboard, I was explicitly told to interact with the players as little as possible. The players keeping each other's cards have the official score and I always saw that as part of the sportsmanship.

That being said, I'm a proponent of addition errors should be corrected, no penalty. Wrong scores should stay higher if incorrectly high and should incur a 2-shot penalty added to the correct score if incorrectly low. If a player and a competitor discuss the score and both *sign* the card, it's more akin to, at worst, conspiracy and more likely absentmindedness than outright cheating. (I once refused to sign a card when I knew my competitor was lying and we had to get an arbiter to resolve the dispute. I was right, he was wrong.)

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This is one of the most difficult topics for me in golf. A part of me hopes a new rule, set of processes come about so that no one who ever makes a honest mistake, a mistake in which no one gains anything over another player gets disqualified. And there is a part me of that sides with tradition as I will attempt to articulate below. 

I guess I am still of a old school mentality regarding many parts of the game. Tradition, honor the game by how you conduct yourself, integrity still govern my thought process regarding golf rules. It's almost sacred how I view the tradition and rules, maybe its the generation I learned and how I was introduced to the game. The accurate scorecard keeping is just something I was taught to take very very  serious and do correctly. Yes we are human and make mistakes. However, there is time to get the score recorded correctly after each hole on the course and totaled after the round. And I was taught it's one of the most important parts of competition - no room for error (whether honest or dishonest). 

But I am not naive. The game is changing by generation and progressing in many areas and I do agree that is good. Being honest, there are just some areas I struggle with change in the game of golf. I get today's golf is/has evolved. I think the attempt to simplify the rules recently with the recent rule changes is evidence of game evolving. Technology at the highest levels (PGA tour) including the people factor-- the number of marshals, etc does afford the recording of shots and number of people witnessing the players play each hole. So I do sometimes think why not lessen the penalty for a accidental/honest mistake with loss of hole, 2 shot penalty addition, etc. But I fear a relaxed attitude regarding score keeping may lead to other areas that threaten the integrity of the game. Maybe I am overreacting here but it's how I feel.

 I still gravitate  back to my original  thinking that this is a game above other sports with high level of integrity with exact rules. Most everyone knows you can not sign for incorrect scorecard -- take the time to get it right. For competitive golf I was taught to immediately write score down before teeing off on the next hole -- and write it twice (one on scorecard and one on extra notepad paper I used when in tournament. At the highest level I think win or lose that one is responsible for the accurate recording and adding their scores. 

 

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I totally missed this. Who discovered that he had signed for the wrong score?


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Yes,  by volunteers that get about 10 minutes of training.   There are also walking scorers who get about 10 minutes of training.   I volunteer as a walking scorer for the LPGA and can tell you that many of the volunteers doing those jobs have no clue.  
As someone who has tried to be a walking scorer at a PGA event it's not as simple as 10 min of instruction. At least not in the past 3 years I have tried. They want you to have previous experience at some other levels event. Granted that doesn't make you an expert but I also have been told the walking scorers responsibility is for the stats and live scoring on tv it has nothing to do with actual rounds score.

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As someone who has tried to be a walking scorer at a PGA event it's not as simple as 10 min of instruction. At least not in the past 3 years I have tried. They want you to have previous experience at some other levels event. Granted that doesn't make you an expert but I also have been told the walking scorers responsibility is for the stats and live scoring on tv it has nothing to do with actual rounds score.

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I was exaggerating on the training time. I go to a 1 hour training class where the instructor quickly goes through the slide deck and explains how the software works.

You are correct the information you see on television is not the official score. We capture shots and where that shot was hit from. We have a handheld device to capture that information. And if the device fails you go to paper backup. You also radio the scores in to confirm everything was correct.

We also hear the communications of the other scorers so I can tell you that many people have lots of issues and report incorrect scores.

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