TV viewers can no longer call in rules violations on professional golfers

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"The message is, as a fan, enjoy watching the game and the best players in the world, but also have the confidence that the committee in charge of the competition have the rules handled", Thomas Pagel, the USGA's senior director of the Rules of Golf, said on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" on Monday.

Television viewers can no longer rat out professional golfers. "Is this a joke?" At the time, she was leading on her way to her first major championship.

A comprehensive overhaul of the Rules of Golf is now underway by the USGA and R&A that will begin on January 1, 2019.

"In my case, I am thankful that no-one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future".

Several PGA players chimed in, as well, with their approval.

The USGA and The R&A established the video review working group in April to initiate a collaborative discussion on the role video footage can play when applying the Rules, including the challenges and benefits of its use and also the issues that arise from viewer call-ins.

Viewers won't be able to make such calls starting in 2018. "Let's leave the rules and the administration of the event to the players and to those responsible for running the tournament".

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We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously.

In addition, even if a tournament's official video review shows a player committing a rules violation, the player will not be penalized if he or she could not have "reasonably" noticed the violation with the "naked eye".

Come 2019, when the modernized Rules of Golf are scheduled to go into effect, the scorecard penalty will be dropped altogether.

"We see this today in social media and otherwise, and not just limited to golf, you see video that's clipped and manipulated", Pagel told Golf World.

Only video obtained from the official broadcast coverage will be considered for rules infringements, with any picture from an individual's smartphone or camera being disregarded. "And rather that put yourself in a position of having to trust that, we're just saying we're going to rely on those credible sources".

The severity of that ruling was compounded by the awkwardness of its timing: though the initial infraction took place during the third round, Thompson wasn't penalized until more than midway through the final round, after a viewer emailed the LPGA, pointing out the breach.

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