Thread: Michelle Wie
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Old April 1st, 2010, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Michelle Wie

Originally Posted by Nords View Post
The general idea of the "no grounding" rule is that grounding a club would allow a golfer to improve the area around the ball to make it easier to hit. The rule doesn't specify whether it applies before, during, or after hitting the ball-- it says "don't do that". The issue in this case is that she put her club down after hitting the ball because she thought she was losing her balance and was afraid she would fall over.

Perhaps the other golfers would understand/sympathize, but pros are supposed to appreciate these hair-splitting aspects of the rules-- and her mistake helped enrich a few others who managed to complete their rounds without falling over. Presumably the course officials wanted to avoid a media circus from any appearance of giving her special treatment. Of course this entire incident might have been missed by the media, and Wie's commentary probably poured more fuel on the flames of the sports editorials. But the rules guys did their job the way it's supposed to be done.
In close to 5 years of being a pro, this is the first time Michelle had been given such a penalty. It's safe to say that she is familiar with this rule.

The "no grounding" rule to which you refer to rule 13-4b. Now, there is no question that Michelle grounded her club after making her initial shot from the hazard,.... while the ball was still in the hazard. But there are exceptions to this rule. Exception 1 to rule 13-4 says:

Provided nothing is done that constitutes testing the condition of the hazard or improves the lie of the ball, there is no penalty if the player (a) touches the ground or loose impediments in any hazard or water in a water hazard as a result of or to prevent falling, in removing an obstruction, in measuring or in marking the position of, retrieving, lifting, placing or replacing a ball under any Rule or
(b) places his clubs in a hazard.
So Michelle based her appeal on the claim that she touched her club to prevent herself from falling. As it turned out, the official rejected this appeal. Essentially, it was a judgement call. But agree with her or not, Michelle had a valid case for her appeal.
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