A Major Marking Issue
Spotting a ball is not rocket science and especially so on a short putt…
I was fascinated by the marking issue with the lass Lexi Thomson when she eventually got a four-shot penalty, after someone on TV seemingly phoned in to highlight her waywardness. She eventually lost in a playoff and basically throw away a major over the marking of a 2-foot putt.
Now this is interesting. Spotting a ball is not rocket science and especially so on a short putt. You put the marker down behind the ball in line with the hole. Now for a two foot putt this is a very basic and straightforward procedure. OK it doesn’t help the situation now that markers resemble 50 buck pieces from downtown LA casinos, but the principle and simple procedure is still there. The room for error in this is very small.
So, for there to be ambiguity and such a resulting incident over this operation leaves me dumbfounded and then highly suspicious. It’s not as if this is a novel thing for a golfer of this calibre. I mean these guys mark balls hundreds of times each week. You are going to get good and accurate at it. Just like a surgeon gets better at incisions I would think. The eye is a pretty amazing and accurate piece of optical kit.
In reaction to this incident some people, notably Tiger Woods and golf writer Ian Carter, are up in arms that a TV viewer has had the power to change the course of a championship. They claim it should be left to the referees. Sorry Tiger and Mr Carter, but no. Look at these referees. They were obviously out for tea.
And then when I read the judicious words of the said golf writer that ‘it was less than an inch’ I stand in disbelief. That’s like saying in an air investigation near miss it’s ok it was under a 100-metre or in the High Court case I followed when in summing up the QC tried to get the chap off attempted murder by saying ‘the knife was going away from the vital organ so there was no intent to kill.’ I mean, heaven on earth, do you think the accused was taking due care to miss and go away from a vital organ as he plunged a knife into the guy’s upper chest? Sorry that’s nonsense. And besides, the jury can see the accused looks like he doesn’t know what an organ is, let alone if it is vital. Some facts should just not be used in defence as they can look ridiculous. And I’m sorry but the ‘less than an inch’ here is poor, poor stuff Mr Carter.
Moreover, the new fad dimension of markers already alluded to throw up a further point. Now I’m no Sherlock, but it strikes me rather forcibly and poignantly that the actual distance of the erroneous marking was actually more, and significantly more, as the ball effectively got replaced round the circumference of the rather too large marker.
Yes, we have to watch the way our game is going. It’s beginning to get out of hand on many levels. The introduction of ‘metal’ woods was the start of a very slippery slope for me. And then we had the ridiculous looking long shafted putters which guys and girls put under their chins and into their bellies and goodness knows where else. I mean who ever allowed that to happen. It just looks very silly and is not the game I grew up to love. And as for that adjustable head driver nonsense. No please no. Enough is enough.
Let’s at least get back to old fashioned marker size for goodness sake. Probably would have saved Lexi Thomson on missing out on winning a major.
"Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes. Let’s go @Lexi, win this thing anyway." Tiger Woods