Jordan Speith toilet emergency scorecard disqualification leads to PGA Tour rule change

Jordan Speith toilet emergency scorecard disqualification leads to PGA Tour rule change

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Professional golfers will now have 15 minutes to correct any errors on their scorecards after handing it in, even if they’ve left the scoring area.

The decision comes after Jordan Spieth was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard at the Genesis Invitational in February.

Spieth looks set to be the final victim of an automatic scorecard error disqualification

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Spieth looks set to be the final victim of an automatic scorecard error disqualificationCredit: Getty

Previously, handing in a scorecard with errors on to officials led to a golfer’s automatic disqualification. 

Now, the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and all other major golf tours will give their golfers a grace period to avoid that from happening.

American star Spieth was the latest to be caught out by the now-old rule, being disqualified in the second round of the Genesis earlier this year.

The scorecard he handed in to officials in Los Angeles stated he had a par on a hole when he actually bogeyed.

Speith allegedly left the scoring hut so quickly because he had to run to the bathroom.

“Rules are rules, and I take full responsibility,” Spieth wrote on social media at the time. “I love this tournament and golf course as much as any on the PGA Tour, so it hurts to not have a run at the weekend.”

He was disqualified on the spot, but under the new rules, he would now have 15 minutes to realise his mistake and make the required changes.

The PGA Tour officially announced the rule switch on Tuesday ahead of the Travelers Championship that begins on Thursday.

Golfers hand in their scorecards to officials during the game

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Golfers hand in their scorecards to officials during the gameCredit: Getty

In a statement, the PGA Tour said: “A new amendment will allow PGA TOUR players a 15-minute window to correct an error on their scorecard, even if they have left the defined scoring area.

“The change, announced in a memo sent to TOUR members Tuesday morning, aims to minimize penalties or disqualifications related to scorecard errors. The PGA TOUR worked with the USGA, R&A and DP World Tour to amend the definition of ‘when a scorecard is returned’.

Jordan Spieth ‘risked death’ to save one shot in moment which petrified caddie at Pebble Beach

“In general, all players will now have a 15-minute period within which they’ll have the ability to correct an error that previously may have resulted in a penalty or disqualification. It includes:

  • If a scorecard is validated in the scoring system and the player has left the scoring area. The player may return to correct an error within 15 minutes of its validation.
  • If a player has left the scoring area and an error is identified before the scorecard is validated in the scoring system. The player may return to correct the error within 15 minutes of the error being identified by the scoring official.
  • If a player is in the scoring area when the 15 minutes expires, their scorecard is considered “returned” when they leave the scoring area.

“Across all our Tours and other major golf organizations, a player’s scorecard is considered ‘returned’ to the committee once the player has left the defined scoring area… We are pleased to announce that an amendment to ‘scorecard returned’ will now provide a player a 15-minute window to correct an error on his scorecard, even if he has left the scoring area,’ the memo stated.

“Exceptions may apply when constraints within the competition limit a player’s correction time to less than 15 minutes, such as releasing tee times following the cut, starting a playoff, or the close of the competition.

“Jordan Spieth was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard in the second round of The Genesis Invitational at The Riviera Country Club. Spieth signed for a ‘three’ at the par-3 fourth hole and a second-round 72, when in fact he made 4 on the hole and shot 73.

“Spieth left the scoring area and was unable to correct the issue. Under the revised rule, Spieth would have been able to fix the error, provided he returned within the 15-minute window.

“The rule change will take effect immediately on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR Americas (the week of June 17-23). The DP World Tour will also implement the change.”

The Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut is live on talkSPORT 2 this week.

Spieth is part of the signature field which also includes the likes of Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele.

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