Professional Golf Finally Ends the Unpopular Viewer Call-In Rule

The decision comes after Lexi Thompson was penalized during the final round of the ANA Inspiration after officials declared a penalty for a rules infraction from the previous day that had been called in by a TV viewer, The Kansas City Star said.

When golf fans look back on 2017, they'll remark that it was Lexi Thompson's injustice that forced one of the most important rules changes in golf's recent history. Thompson incurred a two-stroke penalty for incorrectly marking her ball, with an additional two-shot penalty for therefore signing an incorrect scorecard.

The USGA and The R&A established the video review working group in April to initiate a collaborative discussion on the role video footage can play when applying the Rules, including the challenges and benefits of its use and also the issues that arise from viewer call-ins.

Thompson went on to lose the tournament in the playoffs and the incident caused massive outcry.

This rule was extremely hated by players in all of the major golf tournaments as they felt that it was unfair given that not all players receive equal broadcast coverage, therefore making the more visible players far more apt to be slapped with a rules violation.

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On Monday, Thompson said in a statement, "I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf".

The new rules will take effect on January 1, and the world's major tours - the PGA Tour, the LPGA, the European Tour, the Ladies European Tour and the PGA of America - have all agreed to them.

Television viewers can no longer rat out professional golfers.

All of the organisations represented on the working group will introduce the Local Rule for 2018 and this scorecard penalty will be permanently removed when the modernised Rules of Golf take effect on 1 January 2019.

In addition, a new local rule was announced that will discontinue the penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when the player was unaware of the violation. "In my case, I am thankful that no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future". Now only the options available on site, including players, caddies, marshals, spectators and video from the television broadcast partner, will be considered when reviewing a rules violation.