TV viewer forces Padraig Harrington to be disqualified

Padraig Harrington gets DQ’d thanks to eagle-eye TV viewer

The evil golf television viewer bared it’s teeth last week which saw Padraig Harrington disqualified from the European Tour event in Abu Dhabi. It was the second time this year a professional golfer was disqualified from a tournament following on from Camilo Villegas’ disqualification from the PGA Tour event in Hawaii a few weeks earlier.

Here is what happened.

While marking his ball, Padraig inadvertently knocks it and it rolls all but a dimple or two to a different position which is easily seen in the slow motion video below. He did not replace the ball to its original position which would incur a two stroke penalty according to Rule 20-7(ii).

“I looked down and was pretty sure it had just oscillated and had not moved, so I continued on,” said Harrington.

When a TV viewer noticed it may be in breach of the rule it was phoned in after Harrington had already signed his card. As Harrington had not replaced the ball, or incurred the two-shot penalty, the only option left was to disqualify him for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Should TV viewers be allowed to intervene?
The biggest talking point to come out of this was how the ruling was brought to the attention of tournament organisers and whether or not the penalty was too harsh.

I’m inclined to think both are fine. This rule is one that I see breached many times by weekend golfers and it is good this has been highlighted. Secondly, in a world where golf is looking to stake a place in the TV sports world, I don’t have a problem with viewers keeping a close eye on the professionals and making sure they are earning their millions legitimately.

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