Will Harrington’s Disqualification Initiate Change of Rules?
Despite suggestions of change, Padraig Harrington believes it best the rule that saw him disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Championship be left unchanged.
The Royal Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R & A) is considering changes to the rules that have in recent weeks seen Columbian Camilo Villegas, England’s Ian Poulter and Harrington disqualified from pro tour events. Harrington became the latest to fall foul of the Rules of Golf for signing for an incorrect score but only after TV footage revealed he had moved his ball in picking up his marker. In normal play, the infraction would have incurred a two-stroke penalty but as it was not brought to full notice until the next morning, and as the triple Major winner had already handed in his scorecard, it meant instant disqualification.
Harrington fully accepted his blame and since has received widespread praise for his actions and the manner he handled the matter after being in such a strong position and just one stroke from the lead after a first round 65. “It’s going to be a difficult rule to change, and it's not as clear cut as people think to make a change of a rule like that,” Harrington told reporters in Bahrain on Tuesday. “It would have to be a tough sub-committee to sit on, to figure out what would be the right rule change.”
“Whether the ball moves a millimeter today, is an inch next week, or five inches another week as it’s just going to be tough rule to change. The rule has probably been there for a hundred years now. It's there for good reason, so it’s easier to talk about it than to actually change it.”Written by Bernie McGuire
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