Aug
23
2010
The DQ’ing of Juli Inkster: Fair or Not?
By Stephanie Wei under LPGA

The good news is that there’s someone watching the LPGA who cares enough to email the tournament about catching Juli Inkster put a weighted donut on her club to help her warm up after a 30-minute back-up on the 10th tee. The bad news is — pretty obvious — that Inkster was disqualified from the Safeway Classic. She was also playing well and only three strokes behind leader and eventual champion Ai Miyazato going into the final round.

Inkster issued a brief statement: “I had a 30-minute wait and I needed to loosen up,” she said. “It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is. I’m very disappointed.”

No doubt Inkster, a 50-year-old veteran and member of the LPGA Hall of Fame, should have known the rule — a seemingly dumb one, but (correct me if I’m wrong) I believe that applies to using a laser range finder in a tournament, which I don’t think should be allowed.

Should armchair rules officials be allowed to anonymously email or call in to any tour if they’ve seen an apparent violation? Is that fair? Especially when players and their playing partners, along with rules officials, are supposed to call penalties? I guess spectators are expected to say something, too. But given the way TV works, only certain players are spotted and receive more air-time for committing an error that another might have also done. That’s the way rules work, though, right? Rules aren’t always fair, but they protect the game and the field. Or something like that.