More Rules Controversy As Varner 111 Slapped With Two-Shot Penalty For ‘Assembling’ Driver On Course

  1. The pro game has experienced yet another rules controversy this new season with American Harold Varner 111 slapped with a two-stroke penalty during the opening round of the Players Championship.

The infringement took place on the 11th hole and the second of his round but it was not a ‘new rules breach that has dogged the game this season.

No, this is a ruling that Varner 111 did not break intentionally, but then the vast majority of those playing the game may not be aware nor known the consequences of Varner 111s action,

The PGA Tour’s Mark Russell explains:-

“Well first of all, Harold Varner didn’t do anything intentionally wrong and this is not at all a new rule, this rule’s been in the book for a long time, but he had a problem with his driver on the range and he did not, he did not want to play with it.

“He started with 13 clubs and and he asked us if he could replace it and the answer was, yes, you can. He started with 13, so he could replace one and become 14.

Harold Varner 111 in happier times – Winning the 2017 Australian PGA Championship

“We were under the impression he was going to take the driver back to the locker room and his agent was going to come back with another one. But he wanted to use that shaft. So the clubs were interchangeable, so he took the head off and had the shaft and he was going to put the driver head, who he sent a representative to obtain and bring it back.

“Well, he couldn’t take that shaft with him on the golf course as it cannot be assembled on the golf course. And he was, his caddie was told that when he asked one of our officials that. So he left it there on the tee and the walking scorer picked it up and took it on the golf course and Harold and the caddie were aware of this.

“So, when they brought the head out and assembled it out there, it broke Rule 4. They can’t do that. They don’t want clubs assembled and adjusted on the golf course. So that’s the reason for that rule. The rule basically says a player must not build a club from parts carried by anyone for the player during the round.

“They were aware of that situation, so that’s why he received a two-stroke penalty..

Russell added Varner 111 could have avoided the penalty if he had of left the shaft on the tee and they would assemble the club there and then taken it out to him or in the locker room.

While Varner 111 had to write down a double-bogey ‘7’ he played his next eight holes in eight-under that included holing his 129-yard second shot at the first for an eagle ‘2’ only to then implode in completing the seven holed in six-over par

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