Commentary: For the sport of golfing, it’s directly to Augusta
There’s nothing like the soothing sights and floor-shaking sounds at Augusta National to get minds off a long way too many contentious moments this 12 months. Not because Tiger Woods is six months eliminated from a victory in Georgia (East Lake) as he attempts to give up eleven years without a primary and 14 years in view that he remaining won a inexperienced jacket. Or because Rory McIlroy gained The Players Championship, hasn’t finished out of the pinnacle 10 in all seven of his tournaments this yr and is poised for maybe his fine shot at completing the professional Grand Slam.
The beginning act to the golfing season has no longer been dull, simply not usually for the proper motives.
More than “Who received what?” an excessive amount of interest has been on “They did what?” Perhaps it becomes the handiest becoming that two gamers under the maximum scrutiny this year — Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar — would share the stage at the Match Play in a quarterfinal meeting that jokingly turned into dubbed. The “Apology Match.” Garcia needed to apologize for the destructive five greens within the 0.33 round of the Saudi International, which led to disqualification and maximum probable, could have led to the suspension on any other tour. What may have spared Garcia is that he played so early and was up to now off the lead there have been no cameras.
Kuchar subsequently got round to apologizing – and paying – after phrases were given out that he gave the neighborhood Mexican caddie he employed for the week $five,000 from the $1,296,000 that Kuchar acquired for prevailing the Mayakoba Classic. “That’s not a story,” Kuchar stated tersely in January, except that it has become one in February. Kuchar sooner or later paid the caddie $50,000 and apologized for being stubborn.
There becomes no trace of history among Garcia and Kuchar until an awkward moment at the 7th green Saturday at Austin Country Club. Garcia had a 7-foot putt to win the hollow, narrowly ignored it, and angrily reached out to backhand it into the cup; besides that, it swirled around the cup.
Such a putt – lasers measured it at 4 inches – are popular universally as suitable. Garcia reacted so speedily he was never stricken to look up at Kuchar, which become his mistake. Even supposing he changed into looking, Kuchar ought to have walked to the subsequent tee, and it would be understood that the putt becomes accurate.
Once the match referee became worried — the circumstances that caused Kuchar to talk to the referee are unclear — there has been no turning returned. Shots can’t be conceded once they had been hit. Kuchar stated he didn’t need to win the hollow that way.
Garcia recommended he may want to concede the following hole. Kuchar didn’t like that option. As one excessive-ranking legit versed in all of the proper golfing terminology discovered, “The whole aspect sucks.” There had been no winners on this one, besides Kuchar prevailing the fit he might have performed. Making it worse turned into a brief video they made Monday to mention it was a lot of ado approximately nothing. It would have been greater workable if Kuchar hadn’t changed his story. Kuchar started Saturday at a news convention: “He knew he made a mistake. I said I didn’t want that to be how a hole turned into gained or misplaced. And he said, ‘Well, you may concede a hole.’ I’m no longer certain I’m equipped to concede a hollow.” Kuchar stated inside the Instagram video Monday that Sergio “in no way stated to provide me a hollow.”
They ought to have stolen a page from New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick: On to Augusta. Maybe by using them, players who bear in mind athletes will have discovered the artwork of bending over a few inches to drop a golf ball at knee level. The new Rules of Golf, a seven-yr assignment to make them simple, received far too much interest for the incorrect reasons. The concept in the back of a knee-high drop (instead of shoulder degree) turned into getting the ball in play extra quickly. One purpose the gamers didn’t like it’s miles that it seemed dumb. It reached a point on the Honda Classic that Rickie Fowler jokingly stooped and held the ball behind him below his legs, a distinct type of “losing.” It regarded bad, especially because Fowler stated the previous week that the regulations had been not doing “any favors for our game” after he forgot to drop from the knee stage (following a shank that went out of bounds).
That’s not to mention there haven’t been issues with the new policies, particularly with caddies standing behind their gamers. Justin Thomas spoke the loudest and was heard, and the rule of thumb was clarified overnight. But when Thomas introduced up every other state of affairs concerning caddie alignment at the Honda Classic, a person at the USGA misplaced his cool and tweeted that Thomas had canceled every meeting with the USGA and stated to “call us.” This time, it was the USGA apologizing because Thomas didn’t cancel any meeting. In almost every case involving the regulations, PGA Tour gamers were quick to blame the USGA, even though every important golf company – consisting of their own – become a part of the procedure. It turned into a reminder of how a great deal of goodwill the USGA has misplaced in current years, whether or not it was the ban at the stroke used for lengthy putters or U.S. Opens that didn’t pass in accordance to plan. That’s one problem that is probably forgotten on the Masters but received’t depart simply yet.