News is filtering down from the ivory tower shared by golf’s ruling bodies, the R&A and the USGA, that discussions are already underway to coordinate an administrative response to the disqualification controversy. Mike Davis, the USGA’s Senior Director of Rules and Competitions, had this to say earlier on:
“We’re all bothered by what is a narrow set of circumstances where someone can get the facts right and still be disqualified… In Harrington’s situation, he thought ball was replaced and only television is telling us otherwise… He knew the rules, he thought he did everything right, he just didn’t know all the facts. So the USGA and R&A will open it up again, but we also have to make sure we don’t do something that has domino effect.”
Oddy enough, given the very specific manner in which Davis parsed his comments, ESPN have chosen to conflate this week’s Harrington incident with superficially similar Villegas DQ of a fortnight ago. But as my post of a couple of days ago outlined, the two are in fact very, very different situations. A rules change, should one be made, would likely only apply to a very limited set of circumstances; Villegas would still be DQed, Harrington might not.