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Devil Ball Golf

Padraig Harrington beats the nitpicky rules rap, for once

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

In a year-plus of talk about silly golf rules and absurd viewer call-ins of rules violations, we were well on the way to another on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship. Padraig Harrington was done with his round when word came down that he may have teed up his ball incorrectly at the 13th tee, in front of the designated marker. Yes, this alleged violation, which would result in instant disqualification, was only announced after he was done with his round.

So Harrington and playing partner Phil Mickelson headed back out to the 13th tee to try to figure out what happened, and this silliness ensued:

Yes, that's Harrington, Mickelson and several rules officials trying to look at a tee box for a tee mark after an entire four-day tournament has played through it. Add to that the absurdity of the fact that a cameraman apparently kicked over one of the markers, and you've got the makings of one of the more ridiculous rulings in a long recent history of them.

Thankfully, wiser heads prevailed and Harrington received no penalty.  (Plus, he got to keep his $150,429 winnings for the tournament, which is nice.) Paddy, you'll recall, was DQ'ed earlier this year after an "attentive" (to put it politely) viewer phoned in a violation on him. This time, he wasn't going down for an unintentional breach.

Which is the correct thing to do. You don't call retroactive strikeouts or three-pointers after the game is done; you shouldn't get to yank the rug out from under players after they've signed their card.

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