Golf is a game of integrity
By mustang6560 on 6/25/12
Thanks to oober clevelandstever for the tip.
Jose Manuel Lara was disqualified from the BMW Open last week for a "serious breach of etiquette".
The European Tour chief referee John Paramor said: "His caddie noticed that he had a 15th club and on the second hole he attempted to lose it in a thick bush. He was seen entering the bush with the bag of clubs by his playing partners [Ireland's Damien McGrane and Swede Peter Hedblom], who thought it was a little bit suspicious.Rule 4-4 of the Rules of Golf states, "The player must not start a stipulated round with more than fourteen clubs. He is limited to the clubs thus selected for that round, except that if he started with fewer than fourteen clubs, he may add any number, provided his total number does not exceed fourteen."
If you break Rule 4-4 (during a stroke play competition), as Jose did last week, the penalty is, "Two strokes for each hole at which any breach occurred; maximum penalty per round – Four strokes (two strokes at each of the first two holes at which any breach occurred)."
But, if you lie about it, as Jose's caddie did, and try to hide the extra club in a bush, well, that's not only a breach of the rules of golf, it's a breach of the spirit of the game too. Since a player is responsible for his caddie, Jose was disqualified from the tournament and his caddie was indefinitely banned from the European Tour.
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I believe the European Tour exonerated Lara from the attempt to hide the club, but he was disqualified because of the actions of his caddie. Lara's caddie discovered and tried to hide the club on his own. I love that the European Tour has invited the caddie to never work one of their events again.
I have a hard time believing Jose *did not* know he had 15 clubs in his bag.
It happens more often than you think, and the players do not go rumaging for a club on their next shot, they wait for the caddie to hand it to them. Remember Ian Woosnam the last time The Open was played at Royal Lytham. His caddie made the comment to him on the 2nd tee about having an extra club, in this case a second driver. In this case, the caddie was hurried getting to the club, then tried hiding a club, probably trying as much to hide it from his player. He probably did not want to say to the player that he had four penalty strokes coming his way.
Kurt the Knife says:
in the bushes? lame.
When players get ready for a tournament, they often play practice rounds with many different potential clubs to help decide which ones might be best for that particular course and the expected conditions. It is not unusual for them to carry more than 14 clubs, not only during the practice rounds, but also on the range. After practice, for many players, it surely might be left up to the caddy to get the bag ready, per orders from the player, particularly if they work closely together, as say for instance Phil and Bones do. The player has trust in his caddy. Caddies make mistakes, just like we all do. The fact that Lara didn't notice does not surprise me one bit. In this case the caddy made a sizable mistake in not counting the clubs, and a huge one in trying to cover his first mistake up. I feel bad for Lara, and the caddy for making an unfortunate choice.
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