Ball shift regulation should be changed

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Webb Simpson almost lost his hope to win his first PGA Tour. Reason: the penalty he got on the golf course of the Zurich Classic because the ball started moving when the golfer was directing it to the hole. He called it a “bad rule”, and the rest seemed to agree with him.

It sounds like the U.S. Golf Association agrees this is a bad regulation, and is even ready to reconsider it. Its vice president, Thomas O’Toole, said on Monday, there will be discussions about the rule modification, however if something changes, it will happen not until the beginning of the 2012 year.

O’Toole also said that if any other act of nature, like wind or gravity is known to be the reason of the ball movement, it won’t be considered as an error.

Webb Simpson, who was leading by one shot, was at the closest range possible from the cup at the 15th hole on the Sunday tournament when the ball suddenly shifted. He said that move was most likely caused by the wind together with a comparatively arid and rough grass.

However the rule was severe as always, so the stroke penalty appeared to be essential when the golfer was competing with Bubba Watson after 72 holes. The latter then won in the playoff.

The vice president Thomas O’Toole said he didn’t see the replay of Simpson’s game but the probable change was not a reaction on the recent event to take place on Sunday, it has been considered for seven years already. And though he seemed confident the change will actually be made in several months, he didn’t think it wasn’t a done deal yet.