RULINGS FOR THE AGES
Shipnuck: Sad news out of the LPGA where Doug Brecht, the longtime rules official, died from West Nile virus. The outpouring of love and sorrow from the players has truly been touching and a reminder of how integral these officials are to golf at the highest level. They get to see the players at their best and worst. What's your all-time favorite ruling, good or bad? I'll go with Will Nichols giving Ernie Els relief in the middle of the Augusta forest, strictly for its oy factor.
Herre: I didn't know Doug personally, but I do know that he lived a wonderful golfing life, and that he maintained the highest standards on the LPGA tour.
Shipnuck: Yes, Brecht was always a gentleman. And it was funny at the Re-Match that the PGA Tour's Mark Russell was on hand to keep score. He's better known among golf fans than many PGA Tour journeymen.
Herre: Russell probably loved the overtime pay.
Wei: Of the rulings I've seen in person, it's Tiger Woods at Quail Hollow in May, when he got a free drop on the fifth hole after his ball "disappeared" when he sniped it into the woods with thousands of people in the area.
Herre: The "removable impediment" -- a 2-ton boulder -- for Tiger in Phoenix is an all-time classic.
Bamberger: The biggest, by far, is Trey Holland giving a drop to Ernie Els at Oakmont at the '93 open.
Van Sickle: Right, he got the drop from a TV camera mounted on a stand. It was movable, but Holland incorrectly ruled it an immovable obstruction, so Ernie got a much better lie out of the deal. But here's a better one: Arnie playing two balls from an embedded lie in the 1958 Masters at No. 12. He made a 3 with one, a 5 with the other, and was allowed to keep the 3. In his book, Venturi went off on Arnie and the ruling. It's obvious he felt Arnie got preferential treatment.
Herre: The Masters people make their own rules.
Shipnuck: Yes, there was something very tender and human about the way Price had his hand on Dustin's shoulder.
Van Sickle: Another good one: Slugger White let Stewart Cink clean out a trench behind his ball in a waste bunker at Harbour Town in 2004. Ted Purdy, who lost to Cink, is still upset about that one.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What's your all-time favorite ruling, good or bad?