3. Another week, another rules violation. This time, Simon Dyson was DQ’d for signing an incorrect scorecard after TV viewers noticed he had touched the line of his putt during the second round of the BMW Shanghai Masters. Because of the DQ, Dyson might not qualify for the Euro Tour’s DP World Tour Championship. How urgent is it for the professional tours to address the issue of viewers calling in penalties?
RITTER: It's beyond urgent. I continue to detest the fact that fans from their couches can influence an event's outcome. That's not how any other professional sport operates, and golf should eliminate it yesterday. Leave the rules stuff to walking officials and the players inside the ropes. In the past, I've compared golf to American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. This week, let's go with The Voice, which I'm told has spinning chairs and a large audience. Most importantly, it's not a sport.
LYNCH: It's not urgent at all. Who cares that a viewer called in the violation? The rule was broken, and the penalty was assessed, which protected the rest of the field. So Dyson may not qualify for the World Tour Championship. But what if he had qualified and knocked out someone else on the basis of not being penalized for the rules violation? That's hardly fair. Clearly his biggest mistake was not doing this in a tournament where [Masters competition committee chairman] Fred Ridley presides over the rules committee, since we know signing an incorrect scorecard isn't always cause for a DQ in Ridley's “Believe It Or Not” world.
VAN SICKLE: Let viewers call in. It's better if justice is served, isn't it, than if it's discovered after the fact that Dyson committed a violation and got away with it. The real problem is that the punishment doesn't fit the crime. It would make more sense to simply adjust Dyson's score with the penalty than to DQ him for a wrong score ... as Tiger should have been at the Masters.
PASSOV: I've said it since the Walrus first knelt on a towel in La Jolla: viewers should have no part in determining the outcome of a PGA Tour event, period.
SHIPNUCK: I don't know, I like the anarchy of the current system. And a lot of violations are getting found out, which protects the field. I say don't change a thing. And BTW, Dyson's violation was egregious -- he deserves to have gotten DQ'd.
BAMBERGER: What would you address? What's the difference between seeing a violation on TV or in person? The goal -- I'm stealing this from Davis Love and various other Elders of the Game -- is for the player to turn in the most accurate card possible. The players should welcome the light because the other side of that coin is that they're trying to get away from something, and none of them, surely, is trying to do that.
4. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy met in a one-on-one 18-hole match in China on Sunday night that Don King would be proud of. If the match had been on TV, would you have watched?
PASSOV: Everything Tiger does interests me, especially in a competitive round of golf. I would have watched, or TiVo'd had it been opposite football or World Series baseball. Let's be honest, however. This year's matchup had the feel of Broncos-Jaguars. I mean, it's football, but the competitors were not exactly on equal footing.
VAN SICKLE: The thing about exhibition matches between two players is that there's a tremendous amount of dead time between shots while players walk to their tee balls, line up putts and all. Lot of commercials, lot of inane chatter. I might have watched just to see where Rory's game is now, but as far as being interested in who was winning, no.
RITTER: Of course I'd watch. But as we learned from the Skins Games and Battles at Bighorn, not enough folks would likely join me to make it worth putting on air.
BAMBEGER: Yes, if a boom mic could pick up their thoughts.
LYNCH: I'll watch almost any golf event, but a man has to draw the line somewhere. Tiger vs. Rory and Big Break NFL seem as good a place as any to start.
SHIPNUCK: Oh, hell yeah! I attended last year's Duel and it was a blast. Who else in golf do we care more about?