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Golf updates scorecard rule by allowing extra 15 minutes to fix errors and avoid disqualification

Jordan Spieth watches his tee shot on the 15th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Friday, June 14, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer

Published: July 1, 2024

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — The temptation would be to refer to a change in the scorecard procedure as the "Jordan Rule," only because Jordan Spieth was the most recent example. Players now have an additional 15 minutes to correct their scorecard before it is deemed to have been returned.
Players were informed at the U.S. Open of the change. The USGA adopted the amended definition of when a card is "returned" at the U.S. Women's Open two weeks earlier. It went into effect on most major tours to weeks ago..
The PGA Tour said the goal was "minimizing penalties or disqualifications related to scorecard errors."
Spieth was at Pinehurst No. 2 on the Sunday before the U.S. Open. He said Scott Langley, the USGA's director of player relations, approached him and said: "This isn't because of you. But this is what we're doing here."
The scorecard previously was considered "returned" when the player left the scoring area.
Spieth was battling stomach issues at Riviera when he made double bogey on the last hole for a 73, rushed up the hill to scoring, signed his card and hustled off to the bathroom. He inadvertently wrote down a 3 instead of a 4 on the par-3 fourth hole, and therefore signed for an incorrect score and was disqualified.
Under the new rule, he would have had 15 minutes to fix the mistake or for an official to find him and alert him to the error.
"For an honest mistake that I guess could be the difference in the tournament, I think it's great," Spieth said. "I don't think it's a skill of the game, especially at the professional level. If somebody plugged in a wrong score, they can go back and re-plug it in."
As for the 15 minutes, there is a time stamp when a card is accepted, and the 15 minutes is not down to the second. It doesn't happen very often, especially on the PGA Tour where scores are checked against a computer.
And there are exceptions. If a player stays in scoring for 15 minutes (Phil Mickelson was known to linger there), the scorecard would be considered returned when that player leaves the area. Also, the 15-minute rule could be affected by a playoff, or by tee times having to be posted immediately after a cut.
U.S. Open alternate Manke spent week getting Canada status
R.J. Manke moved up to the first alternate at the U.S. Open after Jon Rahm had to withdraw with a foot infection. In most cases, players have to wait around until the final tee time before packing their bags and leaving.
Manke had been through that before.
He was the first alternate from the main allotment list at Torrey Pines in 2021, waited three days and no one withdrew. Oddly enough, his best chance that week was Rahm, who had to pass a COVID-19 test to be cleared to play. Rahm passed the test and won the U.S. Open.
This time, Manke wasn't even at Pinehurst. He was 3,100 miles away in British Columbia playing a Q-school tournament for PGA Tour Americas with hopes of getting full status for the second half of the season in Canada.
"I had a number of flights to head out there at the last minute," Manke said. "I was following the alternate closely."
No one withdrew. Manke stuck with his plan to play in Canada.
He said if he had known he was the first alternate, it would made for an "interesting decision." But a misunderstanding led to him actually being the first alternate.
"Once the entire reallotment came out, I was No. 7," he said.
Manke knew the USGA was holding six spots for anyone who would have become exempt at the last minute through the world ranking. Two ranking spots went to Robert MacIntyre and Adam Scott, and four spots were distributed to alternates.
Scott, if he had not made it through the ranking, would have been ahead of Manke on that alternate list.
But when the updated list was sent to Manke, one alternate who already had been added to the U.S. Open field was still listed. That would explain why Manke thought he was the second alternate when Rahm withdrew.
It ended well for Manke, who had been playing mini-tours. He made it through the Q-school tournament and now has a place to play for the rest of the PGA Tour Americas season.
Memorial moving back
Jack Nicklaus agreed to work with the PGA Tour on its new schedule, which meant moving the Memorial Tournament off Memorial Day — that's what it was named for — and a week before the U.S. Open.
Now it's going back.
Nicklaus announced that next year's tournament would start on Memorial Day (May 26) and end on June 1, two weeks before the U.S. Open at Oakmont. That leaves U.S. Open qualifying after the Memorial, not before.
"We were willing to work with them and move the 2024 date to a week before the U.S. Open," Nicklaus said. He said after several conversations, they determined it was best for the Memorial to move back.
Hideki to BostonIn a move that might finally dampen speculation about Hideki Matsuyama going to LIV Golf, the Japanese star is joining the tech-infused TGL indoor league that debuts in January.
The former Masters champion has joined Boston Common Golf, the four-man team that includes Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott. He replaces Tyrrell Hatton, whom the PGA Tour suspended for joining LIV earlier this year.
Fenway Sports Group owns the Boston team, also known as the Ballfrogs.
"Together, I hope we can push the boundaries of golf and create an unforgettable new experience for fans around the world," Matsuyama said in a statement.
Divots
Angel Cabrera won the Paul Lawrie Match Play on the European Legends Tour, his first victory since being released from prison in Argentina last summer for gender violence. ... A week after the PGA of America hired caddie-turned-NBC reporter John Wood as a Ryder Cup manager for the U.S. team, Europe added former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley as "strategic adviser" for the 2025 matches at Bethpage Black. ... Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele are the only players with top 10s at all three majors this year. ... Adam Schenk was the only player to miss the cut in all three signature events that had a 36-hole cut.
Stat of the week
The last six majors have been won by six different Americans. That's the longest streak of American winners since Jack Nicklaus at the 1975 PGA Championship through Hubert Green at the 1977 U.S. Open.
Final word
"They say every five years somebody's life changes and it couldn't be more true. I'm a completely different person than I was back at Winged Foot. There's remnants. I've still got a lot of the same cells, but I'm definitely different in the brain for sure." — Bryson DeChambeau going into the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.



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