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The PGA Tour has changed its rules to allow its players a chance to correct a mistake on a signed scorecard without penalty or disqualification.

The most recent high-profile incident came in February when Jordan Spieth was disqualified from the Genesis Invitational for signing an incorrect scorecard. The three-time major champion – who is a member of the PGA Tour’s policy board – signed for a par three on the fourth hole at Riviera when he had, in fact, made bogey. Spieth later admitted he was in a rush because he needed to go to the bathroom.

Now, though, anyone finding themselves in this situation will be able to return and correct any mistakes.

Michael Kim, a one-time PGA Tour champion, posted the news on his X feed on Tuesday, saying players will now have a “15-minute buffer window to make changes to your score without getting a DQ”.

He added: “Hopefully no more scorecard DQs in future.”

He then posted a screengrab of an email titled: “‘When a Scorecard is Returned’ – amendment to the current definition.”

It read: “Across all our tours and other major golf organisations, a player’s scorecard is considered ‘returned’ to the committee once the player has left the defined scoring area.

“The PGA Tour has been working with the USGA, R&A, and DP World Tour to amend this definition with a goal of minimising penalties or disqualifications related to scorecard errors.

“We are pleased to announce that an amendment to the scorecard returned will now provide a player with a 15-minute window to correct an error on his scorecard, even if he has left the scoring area.”

It then lays out the terms of the rule change in three bullet points:

  • If a scorecard is validated in the scoring system and the player has left the scoring area, he may return to correct an error within 15 minutes of its validation.
  • If a player has left the scoring area and an error is identified before the scorecard is validated in the scoring system, he may return to correct the error within 15 minutes of the error being identified by the scoring official.
  • If a player is in the scoring area, when the 15 minutes expires, his scorecard is returned when he leaves the scoring area.

The notice continued: “In general, all players will have the ability to correct an error within this 15-minute period which may have previously resulted in a penalty or disqualification.

“However, exceptions may apply when constraints within the competition limit a player’s correction time to less than 15 minutes, such as releasing tee times following the cut, starting a play-off or the close of the competition.

“With the support of the USGA and R&A, this amendment to our terms of the competition will go into effect on the PGA Tour, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Americas the week of June 17-23, 2024. The DP World Tour will implement it also.”

The most controversial incident involving an incorrect scorecard was at the 1967 Masters when Roberto De Vicenzo birdied the par-four 17th at Augusta, only for playing partner Tommy Aaron to mark him down for a four. The Argentinean missed the mistake and signed the scorecard. Under the Rules of Golf, the higher score must be counted and De Vicenzo missed out on a play-off with newly-crowned champion Bob Goalby. It did, however, lead to one of the most famous quotes in golf history: “What a stupid I am!”

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Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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