It's one of the handful of rules that really tears golfers and fans apart. Which of our two writers are you siding with?
Eddie Pepperell is the latest player to be disqualified from a professional golf tournament for signing for the wrong score. So is it time to scrap this rule – at least at the professional level? Alex Perry and Steve Carroll have very differing views…
- Explained: Why Pepperell was DQ’d in Qatar
‘The punishment for signing for the wrong score doesn’t fit the crime’
Nonsense from start to finish, writes Alex Perry.
Yes, it’s a very simple task to write 18 numbers in 18 boxes and then add them up and put that number in the 19th box, but this is a professional sport where players play for millions each week – not to mention their livelihoods – so is it too much to ask that there is a scorer with each group to do this job?
I tend to turn the argument to other sports so imagine if this happened in football. Manchester United have just beaten Liverpool 3-0 and the managers have signed a piece of paper that says it was 2-0 so the result is wiped from the history books. Of course it’s ridiculous, which is why it doesn’t happen this way.
In my little fantasy world, players go in, match their scores up with that of the scorer and then once everyone has agreed then that score is signed for. It’s foolproof – at least it is in the five minutes I’ve been angry about it.
In the case of Pepperell, his playing partner has messed up and he’s ultimately paid the price for it. He shot a 71 and signed for a 71. The fact he mixed up a couple of scores should be irrelevant.
The punishment doesn’t fit the crime and it’s just golf kicking itself in the face yet again.
‘Let’s not get carried away because he’s popular’
Fair play to Pepperell for taking this on the chin but, writes Steve Carroll, from a Rules of Golf point of view, I’ve little sympathy. He had one job.
The social media backlash is – as with all these things – predictable. But it’s just as wrong.
The Rules really go out of their way to make this simple. All you have to do is ensure your hole scores are right.
You don’t even have to add them up, that’s the responsibility of the committee.
You just need to make sure your marker hasn’t dropped the ball, and correct any errors with them, before you sign and hand your scorecard in.
We’ve all been signing for our scores since we first rocked up in a club comp – and we’ve probably all made a foolish mistake that’s cost us.
We learn from it and try not to do it again.
But taking care of our scores and presenting them in the correct fashion is a fundamental principle that goes back to the dawn of the game.
So let’s not get carried away because a popular tour star wrote 3 instead of 4.