Danielle Kang called her instructor before Sunday’s LPGA playoff. Yes, that’s legal.

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Beth Ann Nichols
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Moments before Danielle Kang did battle against Jessica Korda in a sudden-death playoff at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, she called home. The sight of a player on a cell phone on her way to the tee certainly surprised some of the viewers at home.

Who did she call? And is that even allowed?

“I called my mom, brother, and Butch (Harmon),” said Kang after the playoff, “just three people I called letting them know I’m going to a playoff. They already knew.

“But talked to Butch, and two seconds of talking to Butch hit the best shot of today, which is great. I needed that. I told him I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the swing and he said, ‘You know what you need to do,’ and gave me a swing thought.”

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

On the first playoff hole, Kang struck a 5-iron to 18 feet on the par-3 18th but failed to convert the putt after Korda drained a 25-footer for birdie. It was a dramatic end to an all-American Sunday shootout at the season-opener between Kang and the Korda sisters. (Nelly Korda finished solo third.)

Yes, Kang’s phone call to her instructor was perfectly legal, regardless of what Harmon said, given that the 18-hole round had concluded, according to the meaning of a “round” as defined in Rule 5.1.

“A stroke-play playoff is a new round, so the advice rule doesn’t kick back in until the playoff starts,” said the USGA’s Kathryn Belanger, assistant director, rules education and engagement.

In match play, however, a playoff is considered a continuation of the same round, not a new round.

Belanger notes that players can also change equipment before starting a playoff in a stroke-play event. That is not the case, however, in match play.

Related

Forward Press podcast: A deep dive into the LPGA, including Jessica Korda's win and the Olympics

Jessica Korda pours in birdie bomb to win LPGA's Diamond Resorts TOC in overtime

'It wasn’t really a break': Danielle Kang among headliners at LPGA opener after short, hectic offseason