Think every tour pro is up in arms about the new rules? Think again.
Since news of Justin Thomas’ tête-à-tête with the USGA broke over the weekend – which came hot on the heels of Rickie Fowler having his own pop at some of the new regulations – other high-profile players have come out in support of the game’s governing bodies and the changes they’ve implemented this year.
Recently appointed European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington was one of the first.
In defence of @usga / @RandA.The rule on aligning up a player is a modification of an old rule,a caddie can’t stand directly behind a player as he’s hitting.This amendment being one of around 20 changes has come about with extensive input from our tournament referees and players— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) March 4, 2019
His predecessor at the helm of the good ship Europe and mastermind of the “Pounding In Paris”, Thomas Bjorn, posted something along similar lines.
Interesting that @RandA and @USGA are coming in for so much criticism from players and caddies.— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) March 4, 2019
Players from all over the world was asked their opinions about which rules should change, so was the tour refs and officials.
I for one think they listened!!
Matt Fitzpatrick also weighed in with his thoughts.
I find it ridiculous that the USGA and R&A are getting so much abuse about these new rules. The rule is there to help. The problem is the rules officials themselves giving out the penalty. It is their job to be fair and realise players are not being lined up not the organisations— Matt Fitzpatrick (@MattFitz94) March 3, 2019
Two-time PGA Tour winner Patton Kizzire sees no issue with the new rules… with one exception.
Knee height is fine. Flag stick in is fine. Tapping down spike marks is great. Caddie accidentally being behind you at some point during your setup resulting in a penalty is asinine. Every penalty assessed since the rules changes, the player gained no advantage.— Patton Kizzire (@pkizzire) March 3, 2019
For what it’s worth, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan sent a memo to players last night, in which he described the changes to the rules as “a collaborative process, one the PGA Tour has been a part of from the beginning, along with all organisation in the world of golf”.
Monahan added: “We are committed to playing under these rules as we analyse their effectiveness throughout the entire season, and it’s important to acknowledge that we are not at the finish line yet.”