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Poulter Says Rules of Golf Should Be Re-examined
Never one to shy away from his opinion, England's Ian Poulter, the 11th-ranked golfer in the world, said the Rules of Golf need to be re-examined to avoid the kinds of disqualifications that have occurred in recent weeks.
Poulter said Wednesday on the eve of the European Tour's Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain that "if you look at a number of the scenarios and situations that we've had in the last 12 months, I think a lot of rules certainly need to be re-looked at for sure."
Among the high-profile players recently DQ-ed was Padraig Harrington, who didn't replace his ball correctly when it moved after he picked up his marker in last week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Earlier this month Camilo Villegas was disqualified from the PGA Tour's season-opening Tournament of Champions after a different rule violation.
In both instances, the players did not assess themselves the requisite two-stroke penalty for their offenses and were disqualified after their rounds for signing incorrect scorecards. Also in both cases a television viewer saw the infractions and called in to notify officials.
"I think there's no common sense involved with a number of the rules, so that needs to be addressed," added Poulter.
On his Twitter account, he later opined: "Rules of Golf Book, Rule 22-4, Paragraph 3, Line 7 - the rules of golf are complete b****cks and are stuck back in 1932."
"There's no common sense involved with a number of the rules, so that needs to be addressed, and even Jack Nicklaus said it last week," Poulter also said.
Tiger Woods, who made his PGA Tour season debut Thursday in the Farmers Insurance Open, also weighed in on the matter. "It's our responsibility to know the rules, that's part of playing the game," Woods said.
"We are out there doing it for a living, but the only difference with these rulings is that some infractions have happened and will continue to happen (and not be picked up), but some guys are on TV all the time, so it's maybe not a level playing field."