Thursday, 21 May 2009

Was a Penalty Incurred When Rory McIlroy Gave Advice to Shane Lowry?

Amateur Shane Lowry triumphs in a play-off at
The 3 Irish Open Photo: GETTY IMAGES

It was reported that as Shane Lowry left the 18th green at Baltray, Co. Louth, last Sunday, to prepare for his play-off against joint leader, Robert Rock, his good friend Rory McIlroy whispered some motivational comments in his ear. Did this constitute advice? Supposing that Shane had asked for a personal mind coach to ‘train his brain’ during the time preceding the first play-off hole, would this have been against the Rules, thereby incurring a penalty?

The answer to both of these questions is, “No”. Rule 8-1 states,
During a stipulated round, a player must not:
give advice to anyone in the competition playing on the course other than his partner, or
ask for advice from anyone other than his partner or either of their caddies.
Shane Lowry’s stipulated round had finished after he left the 18th putting green and he was therefore able to ask for and give any advice prior to commencing the play-off. In fact, there have been several professionals who have sought out their mind coaches in these circumstances, to prepare them for the stressful play-off holes in the short time available to them.

Congratulations and best wishes for the future to Shane Lowry, who turned professional today.

Barry Rhodes
Rules at barryrhodes dot com
999Q on Twitter

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