The rules have changed since the last time professional golfer Lee Ann Walker competed in an LPGA-sanctioned event. She found out the hard way.
Walker shot rounds of 85 and 74 at the Senior LPGA Championship.
That was before she had to add 42 penalty shots to her opening round in French Lick, Indiana, and 16 more to the second round, giving her scores of 127 and 90.
Walker says she wasn’t aware that caddies no longer can stand behind players as they putt unless a player starts the stance over. She didn’t realize it until midway through her second round Tuesday, and then she had to add a two-shot penalty for every time it happened.
LPGA rules official Marty Robinson said another caddie in the group informed Walker of the rules infraction and the golfer then brought the situation to an official’s attention on the 14th hole (her fifth), Robinson told Golfweek.
“We had her recreate the times that that happened,” Robinson said.
It goes in the books as a 127 in the first round – with a birdie on her last hole.
The USGA and R&A implemented a change that went into effect on 1 January prohibiting caddies from lining up a player on the putting surface under Rule 10.2b.
Walker made her LPGA debut in 1995 and played 13 years on the tour.