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Aug 21st, 2020

Lexi dodges a bullet but misses cut

Very marginal decision by R&A on rules infringement

We must say that we witnessed it live and did wonder if there may be repercussions for Lexi's movement of the grass by her ball when taking a shot at the 16th hole in the first round of the AIG Women's Open. Social media was ablaze with scores of outraged golf fans but the R&A did not agree with them.

Rule 8.1 'Player’s Actions That Improve Conditions Affecting the Stroke' includes a section that states that a player must not take any of these actions if they improve the conditions affecting the stroke:
Move, bend or break any:
  • Growing or attached natural object,
  • Immovable obstruction, integral object or boundary object, or
  • Tee-marker for the teeing area when playing a ball from that teeing area.
Following a discussion between player and referee David Rickman ahead of her signing her scorecard it was agreed that, although Lexi had moved a growing natural object behind her ball, it had returned to its original position. As such there was no rules infringement and so no penalty applied.
Although it was a brain freeze moment for Lexi as she should not have been dabbing around in the grass it is clear that the grass did spring back into place and so one can understand the ruling.
Questions may well be raised as to whether the R&A bottled it and that had it been a lesser player might they have taken a different stance but we think its probably time to move on. As it happens Lexi was never really in the hunt and is missing the cut.

TAGS: Ladies European Tour, Lexi Thomson, AIG Women's Open, R&A, Rules Of Golf, 2020