The Essential Integrity of a Golfer – Rory McIlroy

A quote from Bobby Jones – the pre-eminent golfer of his generation and grand slam winner in 1930.

“You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank as to
praise him for playing by the rules”

“The rewards of golf, and of life too I expect, are worth very little if you don’t play the game by the etiquette as as by the rules”

While some may think these sentiments are outdated it has been refreshing to see two great examples of gracious and selfless behaviour in the face of rules issues in the last couple of weeks.

Firstly, Rory McIlroy in the USPGA Championship. He missed the green into thick rough at the 3rd hole and an on-course ESPN reporter accidentally stepped on his ball. If this happens you must replace your ball where it was and remake the lie, based on an estimate if the original spot and lie are not known (Rule 7.4). You should consider “all reasonably available evidence” when making this estimate.

The ball was replaced into a lie which the Rules Official was happy with but Rory, considering that the reporter did not see the ball before standing on it despite knowing it was in the area, thought the lie was too good.
“I don’t think it was as visible as that,” he said at the time.

Explaining later
“I just wouldn’t have felt comfortable. I placed it, and the rule is to try to replicate the lie. No one really knew what the lie was, but if everyone is going around looking for it, it obviously wasn’t too good. So I placed it, I was like, that just doesn’t look right to me. So I just placed it down a little bit.”


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