Golfers blast viewer call-in rule

AUGUSTA, Georgia – Viewers calling in rule violations and affecting the outcome of major tournaments would be a thing of the past if players competing at this week’s US Masters had their way.

World number eight Rickie Fowler and reigning PGA Championship winner Jimmy Walker are the latest to criticise the controversial rule a day after American Lexi Thompson lost the year’s first LPGA major after a surprising penalty.

“There’s no other sport where anybody can call in and say ‘oh that was a foul.’ It just doesn’t happen and I don’t know why (golf) is the exception,” Walker told a news conference on Monday at Augusta National.

“Nobody gets to call ins and outs in tennis. It just doesn’t happen and I think we need to change that.”

Thompson had six holes to play when her three-shot lead was wiped out by a four-shot penalty for an infringement that was committed the previous day and only brought to officials’ attention by an email from a television viewer. She incurred a two-stroke penalty for playing her ball from the wrong place and an additional two strokes for signing an incorrect scorecard and went on to lose in a playoff.

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