If you watched the final 2 hours of the Zurich Classic Sunday, you witnessed both the best and the worst of golf. The best came from a player who acknowledged that his ball had moved slightly after addressing it with his putter on the green, summoned a rules official to explain what had happened, and then accepted the 1-stroke penalty in the classiest of manners. Except in Webb Simpson’s case – he was actually leading the tournament at the time and only 2 hours away from potentially cashing in on his first PGA Tour win. The worst? His actions didn’t cause the ball to move – the wind did.
But thanks to the ever-evolving high tech video equipment being used today, both the USGA and the R&A are looking at changing the rule in those instances when it is clear that a player’s actions don’t appear to have caused a ball on the putting surface to move. USGA Vice President, Thomas O’Toole, came out on Monday and said that there will soon be talks on modifying the rule in its current form, with the possibility of the modified version becoming effective for 2012. “If some other agency – wind or gravity – is known to cause that ball to move, no penalty would be applied. We have to react to this. I think this is a better place to be than penalizing players unfairly.”