This new rule two-stroke penalty cost Haotong Li over $100k

Rules officials played hard-ball in Dubai as Haotong Li was handed a two-stroke penalty for his caddy standing on the line of his putt.

Just moments before American Bryson DeChambeau tapped in to win the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, China’s Haotong Li lined up a birdie putt.

Li made the putt but after the round it turned into a bogey as rules officials handed Li a two stroke penalty. The penalty dropped Li from a tie for third place to a tie for 12th costing him around US$100,000.


Li was assessed the two-stroke penalty because it was deemed to be violating rule 10.2b – as his caddy was standing on an extension of his line of putt when he was taking his stance.

Here is the moment shared on Twitter:

The rule was part of the new changes brought in at the start of the year in an attempt to speed up play and place more of the onus back on the golfer to line up properly. It was particularly prevalent on the LPGA Tour.

But this does seem rough given it appears that the caddy was moving off the line as Li sets his stance.

Rule 10.2b(3) which states:

When a player begins taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made:

  • The player’s caddie must not deliberately stand in a location on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason.

And a further discussion on the penalty on the Golf Channel.

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