- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Coach Kepler said, "Jack, he's right."
Some of my USGA friends were critical of my position; they had hoped that Jack would become another Bobby Jones. My feeling is that he did.
16 The Fairway Bunker on 3
I watched Jeff Maggert play the 3rd hole of the fourth round of the 2003 Masters with keen interest. He was the tournament leader when his tee shot finished in the left fairway bunker. On his second shot the ball caught the top of the bunker and came flying back at him. He tried to avoid it, but the ball hit him, and he knew the penalty: two shots. He didn't fuss about it, but it brought him down. He made a 7 on that hole and an 8 on the par-3 12th, and he finished five shots out of the Mike Weir--Len Mattiace playoff.
I had felt the rule was unfair since 1946, when I incurred something similar in the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Baltusrol. My feeling, then and now, is that there should be no penalty.
Thereafter, I started to lobby the USGA to try to get the rule changed to no strokes Joe Dey, the USGA executive director, once said to me, "Why don't you compromise?" That is, make it a one-shot penalty in match play or stroke play. So I took up the cause.
My first thought while watching Maggert was sympathy for him. My second thought was, This will be seen by millions of people—maybe it will bring about a change.
This year Rule 19-2 has been amended. If your ball hits you or your caddie or your equipment, it's a one-shot penalty, in match or stroke play. Yes, it took 62 years for the change to be made, but it was worth it.
Over the years I have happily attended more than 40 Amateur Dinners at the Masters, speaking at some of them. It was at one of the dinners that I first saw Tiger up close, when he was the U.S. Amateur champion. He was a young man with a beautiful smile who looked you in the eye when he spoke to you. Like everybody else, I've been fascinated to watch his career unfold.