Sunday, 25 September 2011

John Daly Walks off the Course in Austria

John Daly shows Andy McFee where he dropped his ball in taking relief.

There has been much confused and ill-informed media comment on the John Daly incident at Diamond Country Club golf course at the Austrian Open last Friday, where he walked off the course after he had been penalised for dropping in the wrong place. Here is a link providing comprehensive coverage of what actually happened, courtesy of ESPN.

A two stroke penalty for dropping at the wrong place was imposed rather than disqualification, because it was not considered to be a serious breach. Daly chose to shake hands with Jiminez and Wiegele and walk off the course without completing his round. He was not going to make the cut anyway, but once again he has shown what little respect he has for the game. All golfers should respect the Rules, particularly those that make their living from it.

(Edit 27th September 2011: Several readers have asked exactly why John Daly incurred the penalty for not dropping in the correct place. The answer lies in the fact that tour events have a Local Rule affording relief from temporary immovable obstructions (TIOs), such as tents, scoreboards, grandstands, television towers and lavatories. As well as the relief under Rule 24-2 for interference to a player’s stance or area of intended swing by an immovable obstruction, there is also relief where a TIO is on the player's line of play. Where the interference is on the player’s line of play the reference point for relief is not the nearest point of relief, but is one club-length of a spot equidistant from the hole where line of play intervention would exist. The player must then drop their ball within one club-length of this point. If you listen carefully to the video clip you will hear Andy Mcfee say, “the way you gotta’ do that John is you gotta’ go more than one and less than two”. Presumably, Daly had previously dropped within one club-length of what he had determined  to be the nearest point of relief.)

Good golfing,

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Open Mind said...


I am afraid I still don't understand this. From whatever point Daly took relief it had to be within one .... not more than one and less than two. Didn't it?

Barry Rhodes said...

Open Mind,

Unfortunately, we do not have a copy of the Condition of Competition for taking relief from TIOs that was in operation in this tournament. The relief was not available under a Rule of Golf. However, listening to what, Rules Official, Andy McFee, said it is obvious that in this event, when there is interference on the line of play by a TIO. the reference point for taking relief is not the nearest point of relief, but is one club-length of a spot equidistant from the hole where line of play intervention would exist. The ball must be dropped within one club-length of this point; hence McFee's comment, "you gotta’ go more than one and less than two”. Don't worry about it too much as you are unlikely to come across TIOs in Club golf.