Michelle Wie – Did She Break the Rules?

Updated: March 29, 2013
Michelle Wie

Golf is a game of honor. Golfers of all levels penalize themselves for rules violations when playing the game.

Last week while playing in the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, CA. had to play a shot out of the water hazard to avoid having to take a drop and a penalty stroke.

Watching the video replay, Wie was able to play a shot out of the water on the 11th hole.  After taking her shot she grounded her club in the hazard.  According to the rules, this is a 2 stroke penalty.

When the hole was finished she was notified by the rules official following her group t

hat she indeed had incurred a 2 stroke penalty.

Naturally this was upsetting to Michelle and she told the official that she had lost her balance and that was the reason for grounding the club.

The rules official was not buying it and so the 2 stroke penalty stood.

I reviewed the video several times to see if there was a mistake made by the rules official.  Quite honestly, I have to agree with the rules official.  I never saw any indication that she had lost her balance. It appeared that it was just an unfortunate mistake.

“This is the rule right here 13-4. Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions Except as provided in the Rules, before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard (whether a bunker or a water hazard) or that, having been lifted from a hazard, may be dropped or placed in the hazard, the player must not: a. Test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard; b. Touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with his hand or a club; or c. Touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard.”

Here is a link to the video: Michelle Wie

You be the judge.  Your comments are welcome.

I think Michelle is a good golfer and is good for the LPGA.  She is moving on and will put this all behind her, but in the future, she needs to be more diligent and err on the side of the rules.  Golf is a honorable sport and needs to be treated that way.

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