Careless "Mistake" Costs Wie $100,000
Michelle Wie has been beleaguered in the past, compared to Anna Kournikova as a female athlete who is all looks and no abilities. I myself even chimed in occasionally. Now I'm beginning to think the golfing world is out to get her.
In Sunday's final round of the LPGA Kia Classic, Wie was in the edge of the water in a hazard on the 11th hole. Watch the video. She hacked at her ball, sending it about a yard forward before it settled back behind the hazard line in the grass. No worries, right? Wrong. After her swing, Wie rested her club head on the ground, which was a rules violation.
Wie has been lambasted because she knew the rule and knew she was afoul, but I think the rule itself, and the official who called her on it, should be the center of the debate.
The rule, 13.4, governs playing a ball in a hazard. It states that you may not touch the ground with your hand or club, remove any loose impediment, or in any way appear to be "testing" the condition of the hazard prior to your shot. If you do, it's a two stroke penalty.
Wie clearly grounds her club well after she completed her stroke, and it had no bearing on the outcome of the shot. Folks are arguing that the rules are the rules, and that as a player Wie should know and follow them.
I agree with that, but I also learned back in middle school about the notion of the letter of the law versus the intent of the law - the idea that we consider the circumstances before blindly applying the consequences of breaking a rule to a situation that fits within it.Continued on the next page