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July 12, 2012

Jeff Hall Thomas O'Toole, Jr.


MODERATOR:  Good evening.  We have here in the Media Center Tom O'Toole, Vice President of the United States Golf Association and chairman of the Championship Committee.  We are also joined by Jeff Hall.  Jeff is the Senior Director of Rules and Amateur Status.  And they are both here to clarify the ruling and the subsequent two-stroke penalty against Corey Pavin.
Jeff, let's start with you.  Can you explain what happened on the 5th hole, which was Corey's 14th hole in today's round, and how that applies to the rule?
JEFF HALL:  Corey addressed his pitch shot from near the green, set the club down several times, and eventually the ball moved.  And there is a rule very explicit, Rule 18-2b, an applicable rule, that when a player addresses the ball and the ball subsequently moves, it's deemed he caused the ball to move.
The player will incur a penalty stroke in that instance, but he will be required to replace the golf ball.  Corey did not replace the ball.  And as a result, the rule calls for a total penalty of two strokes in that circumstance.
THE MODERATOR:  Tom, a question for you.  I think all of us here in the media center were watching Corey in the scoring trailer.  You all were explaining the rule to him.  How do you think Corey handled the situation?
TOM O'TOOLE:  He handled it magnificently, Joe.  He's the class individual we know him to be and, affectionately for us, a former U.S. Open champion.  He handled it with great dignity and did want to view the tape and took us up on our offer to do so, as we encouraged him to, to go to the NBC truck with Jeff and I.
He reviewed it.  After a couple of seconds of views of how he prepared and played that stroke, he clearly said the ball moved.  And I think he said to me walking out of the trailer, thank you for bringing my attention to this.
THE MODERATOR:  Why don't we open it up to some questions.  Any questions for Tom or Jeff?

Q. Did Corey have any idea -- out there he said he saw the ball oscillate, and he thought it went back.  Did he at any point doubt you all, say that he might have thought that it didn't oscillate back?
JEFF HALL:  When we spoke to him in the scoring area, we indicated we had a situation we wanted to talk about, described the situation.  Tom and I had gone down to look at the replay, and we were convinced that the ball had moved.
As Tom said, we wanted to give Corey that opportunity to review it.  He did at that point say, I know what you're talking about.  His perspective was that the ball had oscillated, had returned, but the videotape clearly showed that that was not the case.
THE MODERATOR:  Tom, Jeff, thank you.

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