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Brent Kelley

TV Viewers Again Lead to Golfer's DQ

By February 19, 2012

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Another golfer has been disqualified from a tour event after television viewers alerted officials to a rules violation.

The golfer in this case was Peter Whiteford, and the tournament was the European Tour's Avantha Masters in India. Whiteford was in contention, too - he was the first- and second-round leader after rounds of 66 and 68, and finished the third round one stroke off the lead.

But when he showed up for work on Sunday, he was informed that he had been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

The incident that led to the disqualification occurred on Whiteford's final hole of Saturday's third round. Whiteford thought his ball might have moved in the 18th fairway, and, according to European Tour chief referee John Paramor, asked his caddie, his fellow-competitor and a TV cameraman if they had seen the ball move. All said no. Whiteford played the ball.

But it turns out the ball had moved. Television viewers emailed the European Tour's website, and the TV viewers' information was passed on to Tour officials, who reviewed the tapes and the incident with Whiteford.

If Whiteford had known in real time that his ball had moved, he could have replaced it to its original position and assessed himself a 1-stroke penalty. He could also have notified rules officials of a possible error prior to signing the scorecard. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened, and Whiteford was DQ'd.

The European Tour has posted a statement about the incident.

Sound Off:
Should TV viewers be allowed to point out rules violations?

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