Pros vent fury at 'utterly ridiculous' Li penalty

Haotong Li

Several pros have united in their anger towards rules officials at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after what they deemed a marginal call cost Haotong Li around €100,000.

Following the completing of his final round, the 23-year-old Chinese star was assessed a two-stroke penalty for an incident on the 72nd hole, where his caddie Mike Burrow was alleged to have lined him up.

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In the new Rules of Golf implemented at the start of this month, officials from the USGA and R&A decided to prohibit caddies from standing behind players as they’re preparing to hit a shot or when they take their swings.

The new rule specifies that from the time a player ‘begins to take a stance for the stroke’ until the stroke is made, a caddie ‘must not deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball for any reason’.

However, the call, which saw Li – defending champion of the event – bogey the hole and fall from T3 to T12, ignited fury among his fellow professionals.

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Paul McGinley highlighted its ‘pedanticness’, David Howell described it as ‘utterly ridiculous’, Eddie Pepperell said the decision was ‘shockingly bad’, while Ross Fisher called it ‘a disgrace’.

Li himself didn’t address the penalty on social media directly, only tweeting a picture to say that he’d had ‘such a tough day’.

Haotong Li penalty :: Your thoughts

What do you make of the decision to assess Haotong Li with a two-stroke penalty at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic? Let us know in the 'Comments' section below.

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