News & ToursJanuary 7, 2011

Is Villegas DQ for rules violation fair?

Remember all those crazy rules violations in 2010? Well, one symptom of a short offseason is how a trend from one golf year can carry seamlessly into the next.

It took exactly one round in the 2011 PGA Tour season for golf to have its next rules controversy, this one involving Camilo Villegas' apparent breach of Rule 23-1, which states, "When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed."

Villegas' alleged infraction came on the 15th hole of his first round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, when, as his chip shot rolled back to his feet, he flicked his club to remove some debris from its path.

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As of Friday morning, Villegas had yet to be disciplined. He signed for a one-under 72 in the first round.

__Update:__Villegas was disqualified on Friday for signing an incorrect scorecard. After reviewing the tape, officials determined the player had violated 23-1 for swiping at the grass, which should have incurred a one-stroke penalty.

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__Of course, since this violation was originally reported by a television viewer, you can count on the inevitable debate about whether people sitting on their living room couch should be impacting the outcome of sporting events.

We have our own opinions of the matter, but don't mind us. What do you think? While you think it over check out our compilation of famous rules violations over the years here.

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__*-- Sam Weinman

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