Rules Court

Rules Court


The Defendant: Ian Woosnam

The Scene: Final round of the 2001 British Open, Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England

The Case: On the second tee, Woosnam’s caddie informed Woosie, the co-leader at the time, that he had two drivers in his bag, for a total of 15 clubs. “My caddie said, ‘I think you’re going to go ballistic,'” Woosie recalls. “I think I did go ballistic.”

The Facts: Woosnam had been experimenting with two drivers on the practice tee before his round. His caddie thought that one of the drivers had been taken to the locker room, but it stayed in the bag. Woosnam didn’t spot the extra driver until the second hole, partly because the first at Royal Lytham is a par 3.

The Verdict: Guilty. Woosnam was forced to call a two-stroke penalty on himself for carrying more than 14 clubs (Rule 4-4) — and it would have cost him two more shots had he teed off on No. 2 before catching his error. Woosie eventually finished third, four shots back.

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