Rahm-Ruling a Step Forward in Reasonable Review

In a win so pronounced, the discussions this morning should solely surround Jon Rahm’s -24 finish and 6 shot cushion at the Duty Free Irish Open. Instead, we have to pick apart the incident that tarnishes it all.

In a constant battle with the relevance of rules, the officials at the Duty Free Irish Open confronted Rahm on hole number 6 on Sunday after he replaces his ball “millimeters” from his mark. With a two-foot tap-in, the young Spaniard marked his ball to the side to avoid opponent Daniel Im’s line. Still in the way, Rahm moved the mark a putter length to the right. Im putted out and when Rahm replaced his ball at it’s original location he put the ball in front of the mark and not to the side as he had originally done. He putts out and gets approached by the rules official letting him know that the ball had not been replaced at its exact location but that it seemed unintentional and that there would be no penalty strokes given.

In this case, a ruling that cost Lexi Thompson a major championship, was reviewed by the officials signalling the lack of intent. Purists worry for the integrity of the game, but relaxing this tricky rule to a reasonable margin is likely the best move for keeping it’s integrity intact.

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