We've rarely had a year like it for controversy, so our Fourball team relives some of the low points from the past 12 months

Who or what was the lowest of the low from the past 12 months?

Dan: Clearly there have been three pantomime villains this year, Messrs Kuchar, Garcia and Reed, for their various offences against etiquette, rules and common decency.

However, six months on, I still can’t believe that Rory McIlroy missed the cut in front of his home fans at the Open and I’m afraid that whiff on the 16th green on the first day still doesn’t sit well with me.

The 1st tee nerves we can all relate to in some way, but in that round of all rounds to give away a shot when it was clear that he was in grave danger of missing the weekend through frustration has me shaking my head all over again as I type these words.

Steve: I’m loath to give this to Reed, given he so clearly revels in the notoriety, but whatever you say about how the rules dealt with that issue, his intransigence afterwards was, frankly, breathtaking. He’s always been pantomime, though. And after some of his antics this season, most of us will never look at Kuchar in the same way again.

Joe: Early in the season there was a considerable amount of chatter about the issue of backstopping and this reared its ugly head on the LPGA Tour in Thailand.

Ariya Jutanugarn played her chip onto the green and before she went to mark her ball, Amy Olson also chipped on. Her ball collided with her playing partner’s and she appeared to celebrate as if finishing near to the hole as a result.

The LPGA Tour decided that there was no breach of the rules because the players were simply playing in that way to keep up the pace of play, despite footage appearing to show Olson requesting Jutanugarn didn’t mark.

There was no punishment but plenty of controversy and I find it hard to think Olson especially wasn’t trying to gain an advantage.

Mark: The Rules of Golf. They are going in the right direction but the Adam Schenk situation at the Honda was a nonsense. It came just after the Haotong Li other bit of silliness and earned him a two-shot penalty.

To sum up, Schenk took his stance in a bunker, he and his caddie discussed the shot – as you do – and Schenk played the shot without backing away. Had he done there would have been no penalty.

“The intention was never to line me up. You could see that, I had a fried egg lie on the side of a bunker. After a couple of questions [for the officials] I was just like, I’m just going to get a two-shot penalty, so I might as well just go warm up.” 

Who was your biggest villain of 2019? Let us know in the comments below or you can tweet us.