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Comment from: Kyle [Visitor]

Well said Jennifer!

It doesn't take a genius to figure out this guy Bamberger had an agenda.

If he was so "concerned" why wait until the next day to say anything so she can get disqualified!
10/16/05 @ 23:05
Comment from: Melissa [Visitor]

That poor girl got bamboozled!

That string business at the end was pure BS. How can Michelle and her caddy remember where exactly the ball was and where she dropped it from the day before?

This is a pure witch hunt-if it was ANYONE else none of this would have happened.
10/16/05 @ 23:11
Comment from: Ming [Visitor]
I agree with Melissa. "If this had happened to someone else none of this would have happened." I think some of the media people are just waiting for her to fall, ever since she wanted to turn pro. Well these media people got 'lucky' when it happened on her debut. Good for Michelle for acting like a champ in dealing with it. Talk about 'intergrity'? Don;t think that reporter has one.
10/16/05 @ 23:37
Comment from: John [Visitor]
I am personally disappointed that Michelle didn't win, I was cheering for her to win. But as the father of 4 girls and grandfather to 2 more, I also suspect it was far better for Michelle both as a person and a golfer that she didn't.

Instead she got some tremendously valuable lessons.

Lesson 1: Holes 2 and 3 of her third round taught her a lesson that all too many pros in other sports (basketball and football come immediately to mind)seem to never learn: When your ego starts to outstrip your talent you are on your way to a fall. Lesson learned--when you get to feeling infallible, start talking to your caddy and do what he says...not what you "know" you can do.

Lesson 2: Putting is important, not the kind of putting you do alone on the practice green on a sunny day when you're feeling great; the kind you do when your confidence is shattered, your self-esteem is in the gutter, the rain in starting to fall and slightly over a million people are watching. You only get to practice that kind of putting on the course, in the tournament...so Annika could do it and Michelle couldn't...because Annika had many more years of practice. Lesson learned--some things take time.

Lesson 3: The Rules Officials are at your beck and call, any time you have to take a drop summon one of them to the spot and don't stroke until you have their agreement that you made a legal drop. Annika called Robert O. on Friday. Annika didn't like what Robert O. ruled, got steamed and messed up one hole. On Sunday, Michelle didn't bother the officials, did what she, her caddy and her playing partner honestly thought was right and ended up blowing 72 holes via a DQ. If Robert O. had said on the spot, "this is where you can take your drop" as he did for Annika on Friday, then the issue would have been settled; SI would not have a "story"; in all likelihood she would have dropped at exactly the same spot; even if the drop would have been one maybe two feet further back, it probably would not have made a difference, or at worst, Michelle would have been one stroke further back.

Lesson 4: There are people in this world who profit by your misfortune. Accept that fact. Don't let it make you bitter, just let it make you cautious. A lesson her interview afterward seems to indicate she already knows. Kudos Michelle on handling your first professional disaster in a manner that was...well, professional.

$50,000 is a hefty tuition at any University in the world. But I expect the value of the lessons Michelle learned at the Bighorn University of Life will make it worth it in the end.

Oh, and the most important lesson of all, at 16 years of age, Michelle learned she is only 3 strokes a round away from being the best Lady Golfer in the World. Somewhere out over the Pacific on the ride home, she'll stop crying and start mentally shaving those strokes away.

Oh, and by the way, I'll bet you'll find Annika on the practice range tomorrow. Cause she's the best there is. She won't sit on her laurels no matter how wide the margin was. She may not be looking back, but she can hear more than one set of footsteps behind her. They're still a long way back but they're getting closer, and she's not about to "go gentle into any dark night". Not just yet anyway.

Boy are we going to have some great LPGA golf coming our way next year! Stay tuned.
10/16/05 @ 23:41
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
I swear that I did not read Jennifer's blog before I wrote my own. If, however, some other writer would like to measure the length of my blog and compare it to Jennifer's, or track my web activity before, during, and after the writing of said blog, and then contact me about it tomorrow in an accusative way, I will personally kick his assonance and consonance all the way to his publishing house. Bamberger has had his day in the sun, has done some fine writing, but this is inexcusable. Contrast it with what happened to Stadler on the PGA Tour. Little ding in your shaft, don't know when it happened, don't know if you played with it like that, too bad, too sad, DQ. Hard-Knock Life, these pro tours.

10/16/05 @ 23:57
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
Agree. After this episode, Wie has go learned something. I find it quite pathetic however to cheat a 16 year-old out of her first tournament, just to get some recognition. It's quite sad.

10/17/05 @ 00:01
Comment from: Kirk YI [Visitor]
This story has so much full of it, its not even funny.

Getting story is one thing, but to make story is quite another; for reporter to do; and for Sport?s Illustrate, not to know this; seemingly gives any me a pause.

First there is other people; all the eyes were focused on her, and no one caught it;
Meaning, no one saw anything out of ordinary; and yet, somehow Bamberger saw it; and even then, it was mere suspicion; not probable;

second, it took measuring to get bottom of it; unlike football where measurements are constantly made, in every play, in golf, while it is enumerated, in rule book; it is not consistent;

meaning, anything overtly done, which can affect scores with proportional effects, become critical issue; but a foot within realm of what appears to be in tens of yards? could not have made any difference.

If such were to happen in putting green; where measurements are measured in feet; then foot or two creates great deal of difference, not to mention inches;

i do believe if she decline to be interviewed; she would be justified.
And any pro players who feel similarly should boycott Sports Illustrated;

if they feel, this reporter freelance or not; who believe this incident was unfair; must boycott Sports Illustrated; of granting interview; or photos sessions;

because there is more money in Golf than football;
more people of wealth, more people of influence, are interested in golf than any other sports;

its time to teach behaviors of reporters; in what golfers would and would not tolerate;

most sacred of all things as reporter ought not to do is create story;
they are mouth piece; of incident; of their skills of judgment;

this ability to judge without bias is the key to being good journalist;
not sensationalism, not subjectively varnished reporting is not, definitely not being a good journalist.

Because of their ability to judge, is why they are granted access to all things unhindered;
This reliance is what public trusts, this reliance is why public trusts reporter;

And this reporter has violated it.

violated public?s trust, which they are entrusted with. And for that reason, entire journalism world must be made aware, violating trust of public is no, no.
10/17/05 @ 01:05
Comment from: Jeremy [Visitor]
Herr Bamberger's email may well be...


...this from an article he wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer about a year and a half ago...might be outdated though.

In case anyone might want to send their opinion to him (pro or con).
10/17/05 @ 01:35
Comment from: JJ [Visitor]
In addition to the writer being a jerk, the LPGA compounded the issue by isuing the DQ. As one writer said above, a day removed, who knows exactly where the drop was made? When have you ever seen someone break out a measuring device to check a drop, and there was nothing done in an attempt to get an illegal advantage. Shame on the LPGA or whatever organization runs this event.
10/17/05 @ 01:46
Comment from: Michael Bukakke [Visitor]
What is this Women's Golf that you speak of? Does it involve men playing golf and winning the amour of young women, instead of prize money? Please advise
10/17/05 @ 02:59
Comment from: Cary [Visitor]
The SI reporter is a slimebag. He makes a totally unconvincing argument why he didn't report the incident sooner. His disclosure after the final round, 30 hours after the incident speaks volumes about his true motives. "to protect the integrity of the game, what a crock! Reporting it after Sat. round would have only resulted in a DQ. But that wasn't good enough, I bet he was hoping that she'd win the thing, then get DQ'd. What a story that would have made, and the attention that he obviously craves.

I'm hoping Nike and Sony have a talk with the brass at SI.
10/17/05 @ 03:11
Comment from: Jack [Visitor]
Bamberger has one fan - Morgan Pressel.
10/17/05 @ 03:54
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
To John above.

I think yours may be the best posted comment I have ever seen on this blog. You are the type of fan that Michelle desreves. It seems so many cannot express themselves other than in anger with inappropriate language.

It was a careless mistake and she will learn from it. It is a mistake that could have been made in a much more important and costly situation in the future. This should guarantee it will not happen again.

I am a bit puzzled why the caddie did not prevent this. When you see the replay it seems like it was done in haste will little care for the angle of the drop with regard to the pin. The caddie could have prevented this.

I agree we should see a lot of fun LPGA golf in the future. The attention given to Michelle clearly motivated Annika who is the best. History may prove someone else is better but only after really hard work and years of experience.

Well done John!!
10/17/05 @ 10:04
Comment from: Sheryl [Visitor]

You're right Joe--the silver lining of this is she knows not to do it again in the future. Get an offical out there even if she's the least bit unsure of what is kosher or not.

Better to learn this now than in the future -imagine if this happened at a major.
10/17/05 @ 10:11
Comment from: Tom [Visitor]
PLEASE!! Yes the reporter brought i up the next day, so what!
You want to blame someone look to her caddy for crying out loud! This is suppossed to be the support for this young girl. HE should have known, and now he's ticked because he might've blown his meal ticket!

I like Wie, but this was a lesson she NEEDED to learn! Welcome to the tour.
10/17/05 @ 10:24
Comment from: Johnny Williams [Visitor]
Throw the bum out !!!! I'm never buying another Sports Illustrated !!!
Let him apply for a job at The National Enquirer....they love that stuff.
10/17/05 @ 10:33
Comment from: Gregg [Visitor]
There was no link to comment on Baldwin's piece, so I have to do it here. Golf (PGA/LPGA) should not allow an outside party to have an effect on it's tournaments. I saw the Michigan receiver catch a pass out of bounds on their game-winning drive, but I can't call the NCAA and have the outcome reversed. Unfortunate for Michelle, but lesson learned. Oh, and Baldwin...the correct phrase is "COULDN'T care less". You sound uneducated when you say "could care less".
10/17/05 @ 10:36
Comment from: Ed [Visitor]
As a PGA member who has often officiated, I can understand fan disappointmnet, but this is pure "blame the nessenger" to me. I can tell you that Wie, Stadler, Watson, Nicklaus, Palmer and any tour professional would rather know if they unintentionally break a rule whether it's before or after playing the round. So get over the error made by Wie (and her caddy)and move on to the next event, just like they do!
10/17/05 @ 10:39
Comment from: Len Pietras [Visitor]
Welcome to the professional world! It is the obligation of each contestant to intimately know the rules by which the game is played, even if the contestant is only a teenager. Expensive lesson? Not when you consider all the hype that has been heaped upon her and the resulting endorsement contracts. We all have made mistakes at our jobs that might have cost us something. Remember Roberto DiVensenzo? Those are the rules, kid!
10/17/05 @ 10:44
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

Thank you for your succint and appropriate comment.
10/17/05 @ 10:45
Comment from: Mike [Visitor]
I am not a Wie-fanatic, by any stretch of the imagination, but you have to be daft not to agree that she got screwed. This simply would not have happened to a different player.

Read the articles about this incident -- her caddie told her specificially to "Make sure you don't drop it nearer to the hole." They triangulated it out and honestly thought that they were no closer to the hole, which in any other situation is good enough. But this reporter had to go and find a story. He is NOT a rules official...he should not even have been on the green.

I play golf all the time, and I watch tons of pro golf on television. Trust me: pro men bend the rules EVERY weekend. Ernie Els at the Masters a few years ago begged and whined until he found someone that agreed that a pile of brush in the woods in front of his ball was really temporary and meant to be removed later on. Tiger Woods got an army of fans to move a one-ton stone that wasn't buried in the ground and therefore qualified as a "Loose Impediment" (this incident led to a rules change, by the way).

My point is that these guys are really pushing it in terms of "playing by the rules." Wie, on the other hand, played the situation correctly and honestly. When you take a drop, you figure out a line that looks perpendicular to the whole and you drop behind it. Even when you have a rules official there with you, they aren't going to measure it out.

I'm sure that, in that same weekend, 5-10 other players took a drop that ended up technically being "closer to the hole." But because they weren't Wie, nobody bothered to get out the surveyor's equipment to confirm it.

Golf is played on the honor system. In this case, Wie's honor remains intact, but the reporter's is gone.
10/17/05 @ 10:50
Comment from: Bob [Visitor]
Missing the point. Michelle and her caddy will move on professionally. But when reporters decide - again - decide to create news stories, not report on them, they remove themselves from the profession of journalism. The individual in question had ample opportunity to bring his concern as an informed spectator to Michelle, her caddy, and LPGA officials on the day of concern, but CHOSE instead to create a story and wait until the tournament was over. CREATED A STORY - NOT REPORTING - that's the issue at hand.
10/17/05 @ 10:55
Comment from: Sheryl [Visitor]

Again -let me reiterate no one is blaming Bamberger for going to the officials if he thought something was suspicious he should have.

The problem is he sat on that information for a day and a half until the possibility of Michelle Wie's disqualification existed.

I find him quite disingenous since he had ample time and opportunity to rectify this situation without incident. Yet he chose to inject himself into the limelight and be part of the story.

Michelle's mistake is not calling an official right before she dropped the ball.
This whole thing is so fishy because everything is inconclusive-- officials had to go by what Michelle and her caddy recollected from the day before.

Who knows what the true measurements really are ? There is no possible way to have everything recreated exactly what happened in the last round.

10/17/05 @ 11:08
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

If you see the replay and hear the officials explanation you can see that the line where the triangulation took place is in itself closer to the hole by more tha 12 inches. The fault is with the caddie who should have seen where Michelle was placing the tee at the far end was the wrong angle and clearly closer to the hole.

The players you refer to who are "pushing it" in your words are arguing a ruling with an official. As you may be aware there can be several different rules that can be applied to the same situation. If Michelle had done this she would have been told the angle was putting her drop area closer to the hole.

In any event she would not have won the tournament. I think the lesson learned will be worth much more than the $50,000 she may have given up. In time I think she will look back and appreciate that she learned this lesson with little cost.
10/17/05 @ 11:21
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
You Wie-bots really are comical. She made a mistake, inadvertently broke the rules of golf, and was assessed the appropriate penalty. An experienced spectator saw it and reported it to officials, which is entirely the right thing to do. And you idiots who think the reporter had an agenda - Bamberger has been a professional caddie on the PGA Tour and the European PGA Tour. He also sought counsel from his editor before doing anything, as he didn't want to get involved. What you have here is an unintentional mistake by Wie, witnessed by a professional caddie who knows the rules of golf, who did the right thing. Michelle's not the first golfer this has ever happened to and she won't be the last. Not having Grace Park come over and witness the drop was her mistake. To blame the messenger is ridiculous.
10/17/05 @ 11:39
Comment from: Shanks [Visitor]
To John, father of 4 & grandfather of 2:

Your post was so on the money that I do not have to waste anybody's time reading mine.

Those girls of yours are very lucky indeed to have someone like you behind them. Well said, sir!
10/17/05 @ 12:25
Comment from: Marty Johnson [Visitor]
This is another reason why outsiders and TV should not play a part in golf rulings in tournaments. If it had been someoneelse and they were not on TV it wouldn't even be a question. The pros and their playing partners should be allowed to play within the rules giving some allowance for judgement calls that should not be questioned unless, flagrant. Where a ball entered a hazard or where to drop a ball are judgements. If the golfers are applying the rules, their judgement and integrity should not be questioned or challenged especially when the rules officials have to go to extremes to make a ruling.
10/17/05 @ 12:45
Comment from: John D [Visitor]
Maybe Wie isn't ready to play on the big circuit,yet? Afterall, an improper drop does appear to be a move you would expect from an amateur.
10/17/05 @ 13:17
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]
This whole situation is contrived. Video inconclusive. Pacing inconclusive. String measurements of approximate locations of a ball and a drop from the day before? Beyond ridiculous.

Forget about ANY of the participants (Wie, Bamberger, Robert Smith, etc). This ruling angers me because it lowers golf on the sporting scale. While figure skating has tremendous viewership, it also has a stigma, one that was enhanced greatly by the Olympic scandal in Salt Lake over the judging of the pairs competition. I have not been this angry about an outcome in a sporting event since those Olympics.

Just as in that instance, the final determination was made by "judges", the final outcome determined by highly subjective means. All sports have subjective elements - was the player's foot in bounds in football? Was that a strike in baseball? But in NONE of these sports will you see a game decided AFTER THE FACT by a review of, essentially, the unreviewable data. In most sports, like football or baseball, you actually CAN review the facts I mention above quite distinctly on video tape. But if the game has ended, there will still not be a change at that point.

Why? Because that makes the sport reasonable. Fair. Finite. And less prone to the ridiculousness that events like figure skating and gymnastics have to deal with. There are no appeals looking to see if someone completed all necessary moves, or to review the complexity of a routine, in what we call "mainstream" sports. And golf used to be that way - which is why golf has become more and more popular, among other reasons. We can play it, and identify with it, and watch it and KNOW what the outcome of the match is when that match completes play.

Until now. Now we are all forced to wonder about the outcome. Now every tournament is subject to this kind of review and revision. Now any fan, reporter, caddy, official, what have you, can come up AFTER the end of the tournament and question a couple dozen decisions made during the tournament by players and caddies and look for ways to overturn the results. You think Wie has her fanatics? There are men's players, Tiger being the most notable, that have much bigger followings. There is money bet on these contests. If this is the way golf will be "officiated", or more correctly termed "judged" at this point, look out. There will be a FLOOD of "questionable" decision that people point out.

But of course this is not how golf is really played. This is not how tournaments will be decided in the future. Because it's bad for golf. And it's actually NOT in keeping with the rules of golf, which state that respect should be accorded to competitors and their decisions.

No, this is a one-time situation. You won't see string brought out after Tiger's next tournament. You won't see pacing off of Annika's next drop the day after she dropped it. The players themselves would revolt over such decisions. That's not how golf is played.

Which just goes to show that no matter how angry, sad, happy, or indifferent you are over this happening to Wie, it's clear that this happened to her BECAUSE it's her. To say differently is to simply ignore the facts.

The game of golf took a hit with this circus, but it will move on. Shame on the LPGA and Samsung officials for their handling of this situation - read your rule book again, you missed the parts that refer to the honor and respect for the game and it's players. You missed the parts where officials are given leeway to be stewards of the game, to rule as appropriate in their estimation.

As for Bamberger, he did his job. He saw something, and then he cautiously mentioned it AFTER the scorecard was signed, and then brought the matter to a head in as attention maximizing a way as possible. What can you say? That's his job.
10/17/05 @ 13:43
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
Just some examples of disqualifiactions for people to know about:

Recently Paula Creamer realised she had changed a club in her bag the morning after a rain delay caused the round to be finished the following day. After the Tournament was over she called Officials and disqualified herself.

1996 Bay Hill Invitational

After the second round Jeff Sluman was only two back of the leaders, but he became concerned the night after the round when he thought he may have taken an incorrect drop after hitting into a water hazard. The next morning Sluman returned to the scene and confirmed that the drop area which he used was closer to the hole and that his drop was incorrect. He then disqualified himself from the tournament.

1996 Nike Shreveport Open

While P.H. Horgan III was waiting for the final group to finish before the start of the playoff between himself and Tim Loustalot, he was talking with a Nike Tour tournament director and related an incident that happened during the third round. It seemed that Horgan accidentally moved his ball marker by dropping his ball on it. In talking with his playing partner they agreed there was no infraction and proceeded to play. However, it was a violation of Rule 20-1/5.5 and Horgan should have assessed himself a one-stroke penalty. Since he signed an incorrect scorecard he was disqualified from the tournament, and Loustalot won without having to have a playoff.

1996 Canon Greater Hartford Open

Defending champion Greg Norman, who shared the first-round lead, was disqualified before the third round when it was found that the ball he was using was improperly stamped and not certified by the USGA.

1996 Jamie Farr Kroger Classic

Meg Mallon took the first-round lead with a 6-under-par 65, but then the next day was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. She had stroked a putt that ended next to the hole and slowly moved for another 18 to 20 seconds until it fell in. At the time, she thought she made a birdie and signed her card for the birdie. But later on LPGA officials caught wind that it could have been a Rules infraction. After investigating the situation, the officials found out that Mallon did violate a Rule by waiting to long for the putt to drop and had no choice but to disqualify her because she signed an incorrect scorecard.

1997 Players Championship

In the final round on the 17th hole, Davis Love III accidentally hit his ball on the putting green with a practice stroke. He did not replace the ball, two-putted from there, and scored himself as having made a bogey 4. However, he should have replaced his ball to the original spot before continuing to putt. Not doing so is a one-stroke penalty, and thus his score for the hole was actually a double-bogey 5. Officials found out about the mistake, but unfortunately for Love it was after he signed his scorecard. So instead of finishing T7th, he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. The mistake cost Love $105,000 as well as valuable Ryder Cup qualifying points. However, he did go on to make the 1997 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

1998 NEC World Series of Golf

In the first round, Lee Janzen was another in violation of Rule 16-2, waiting too long for his putt to drop in the hole. On the 17th hole his birdie putt hung on the lip. Janzen walked up to the hole, then past it, bent down to survey the ball, and stared at it. He looked at his fellow competitor Vijay Singh, who also walked up and bent down to see the ball creeping toward the hole. About 20 seconds after Janzen arrived at the ball, he went to tap the ball in but it dropped into the hole. After the round he signed for a birdie 3 instead of a par 4. When the incident was later shown on television, viewers contacted PGA Tour officials, who in screening the tape realized that Janzen violated the Rules and disqualified him. At the time, it wasnąt a big deal, but at the end of the year the disqualifaction did cost him a spot on the Presidents Cup team. He luckily got to play on the squad only because Hal Sutton's father-in-law died, forcing Sutton to withdraw and give his spot to Janzen.

These are very experienced, prominent players. There is no embarassment to a disqualification things happen to the best of players. It is a good lesson learned at a young age.

The enforcement of the Rules of Golf by Neutral Rules Officials is the hallmark to the integrity of golf even when these rules seem unfair.

10/17/05 @ 14:02
Comment from: arnie [Visitor]
For all you dolts who get upset when someone other than a player calls a rules violation and laments how "golf is the only sport that allows such a travesty to occur" - do you realize that GOLF IS THE ONLY SPORT THAT DOESN'T HAVE REFERREES WATCHING YOU PLAY AT ALL TIMES. Do you people forget this? And whose responsibility is it to assist Wie in not making the mistake? The answer is nobody but herself. You don't see referees in other sports jumping in to stop an infraction by a player. The responsbility here lies solely with Wie and her caddy. She chose not to seek out a rules official or even her playing partner. It was an amateur mistake and one she won't make again.

Of course, it could just be a grand conspiracy against her. You know how people hate successful young people...
10/17/05 @ 14:31
Comment from: Mr. Small Rain [Visitor]
More Questions on Wie's DQ:

How they measure it was 3" or 12" or 18" to the hole. Which pin they are talking about, Saturday? Sunday?

The more I think about the issue, I have more and questions and doubts.

Do anybody has exact distance? Again, Doubts.
10/17/05 @ 15:13
Comment from: Jerrod [Visitor]

WHAT THE F***!!!!

If the video wasn't conclusive what makes people think the recreation a whole day after is going to be accurate.

What a crock!
10/17/05 @ 15:13
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
They placed a tee on the mark where the Pin had been on Saturday. If anyone heard the Rules Official Robert O Smith handle the Rules decision with Annika on Saturday you know he is an experienced guy who knows how to enforce the Rules properly.

The only questions are from people who are not familiar with the Rules of Golf which can seem very confusing, vague and archaic at times. This is not one of those times and the decision is correct and clear. Things like this are also a fairly common occurence in all levels of golf.

I think the only thing that is not clear and never will be for some is the motive of the writer who reported the violation. I must feel he wanted to do the right thing but many will not agree.

Once officials are aware of a possible violation they are obligated to investigate it and make a determination without regard to the player involved.
10/17/05 @ 15:47
Comment from: Barry Jaynes [Visitor]
Thank you, Jennifer. Bamberger's motives are certainly in question, but what's more disturbing is how the ruling bodies used that information in their decision.

The decision does nothing but advance the perception that Golf is a game of quirky rules governed by stodgy old fuddy-duddy?s.

Rules official Robert O. Smith, the man who made the final call to disqualify Wie, defended his decision, ``The Rules of Golf are based on facts,'' Smith said. ``They had to tell us where it was. The fact was, the ball was closer to the hole by 12 to 15 inches.''

FACT?! There were no facts uncovered in the ?investigation?, which culminated in a ridiculous re-enactment.

The FACT is that a review of the video tape was inconclusive.
The FACT is that pacing the distances proved inconclusive.
The FACT is that even after measuring with a length of silly string, they still could not pinpoint a distance ? ?12 to 15 inches?. Well, which was it?

The FACT is that the exact location of the ball and the exact location of the point of relief could not be determined expos facto.

The FACT is that there are NO FACTS supporting the disqualification.

Smith also said that he was "hand-cuffed by the rules" and that he was required to "administer the rules as written".

Well, as written, you?ve got to go all over The Book to find all the relevant rules.
?6-1: Player?s responsibility
?6-6: Scoring in Stroke Play
?20-2: Dropping and Re-Dropping
?20-7: Playing from Wrong Place
?28: Ball Unplayable

Wie clearly exhibited knowledge of the rules (6-1) as evidenced by her adherence to rules 20-2, 20-7 and 28.

Interestingly, Mr. Smith made no mention of the following rules as written:

?Spirit of the Game
?1-4: Points not Covered by the Rules
If any point in dispute is not covered by the Rules, the decision should be made in accordance with equity.

Note: The Rules of Golf offer no definition for ?Equity?, however Merriam-Webster does:
1a: justice according to natural law or right; specifically: freedom from bias or favoritism
1b: something that is equitable
1: having or exhibiting equity: dealing fairly and equally with all concerned

It seems to me that the Spirit of the Game should not and does not only apply to players, but also to the other Agencies of the game:

A ?referee?? is one who is appointed by the Committee to accompany players to decide questions of fact and apply the Rules. He must act on any breach of a Rule that he observes or is reported to him.

An ?outside agency?? is any agency not part of the match or, in stroke play, not part of the competitor?s side, and includes a referee, a marker, an observer and a forecaddie.

An ?observer?? is one who is appointed by the Committee to assist a referee to decide questions of fact and to report to him any breach of a Rule.

Which definition defines Mr. Bamberger?s role in this? Was he appointed by the committee to report a breach of a Rule? As written, it is difficult to determine how Mr. Smith administered the rules in their entirety.

Furthermore, given the inexcusable delay on Mr. Bamberger?s behalf in reporting the possible rules violation; the lack of a ?statue of limitations? for reporting such violations; the omission of guidelines for determing if rule 20-7 had been violated (video, silly string, etc.); and the lack of clear evidence that the rule had actually been violated -- Rule 1-4 could have and SHOULD have been invoked:

Rule 1-4 is vital to the Wie scenario and cannot be ignored. Had a Referee, Outside Agency or Observer raised the concern prior to the signing of the card, the Rules, as written, clearly provide Wie an opportunity to avoid disqualification.

However, perhaps the most important exclusion of Mr. Smith?s administering of the rules is the Spirit of the Game clause, conspicuously located at the top of the Rules of Golf. Mr. Bamberger?s golfing experience and knowledge of the game and its rules are beyond question ? this could not be clearer than it is today.
His knowledge of the rules makes the FACT that he waited until after Wie had signed her scorecard suspicious at best. It is clearly not in the Spirit of the Game, nor was the dog-and-pony show that took place at the 7th hole on Sunday evening.

There is but one rule left to be administered. For the spirit of the game. For the good of the game. For the fairness and equity of all concerned.

33-7. Disqualification Penalty; Committee Discretion
A penalty of disqualification may in exceptional individual cases be waived, modified or imposed if the Committee considers such action warranted.
Any penalty less than disqualification must not be waived or modified.
If a Committee considers that a player is guilty of a serious breach of etiquette, it may impose a penalty of disqualification under this Rule.
10/17/05 @ 15:49
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]
To Joe and Arnie:

All of the examples you give are of players calling the infraction on themselves when they believe they committed a violation. And Arnie, you cite a lack of referees - correct! So how does a spectator (who happens to be a journalist, but let's leave any conflicts in that regard out of the question) calling a foul 36 hours later factor into this discussion? And when consulted, the player does not feel that there was an infraction. You cite the examples of when a player feels there WAS an infraction - when either the player or the playing partner, or a rules official when the situation is discussed after being brought up BY players, feels there has been an infraction. This situation is different precisely BECAUSE it is a spectator who brings up the question, and the player does not feel there is an infraction, and yet the officials go to further "evidence" collection by examining first videotape, then pacing to approximate locations, and finally exact measurement to approximate locations to determine if the player is WRONG about the facts of the situation.

Do you not see the difference here? It's not a matter of whether or not the drop was closer to the hole - we cannot determine that absolutely at this point in time anyway. It's a matter of how the situation was brought up, examined and resolved. There is little doubt in my mind that there are numerous drops each year on tour that end up an inch closer to the hole - simple human error says it's almost certainly the case. But unless the player, or a playing partner, or a rules official ON THE SCENE, brings this up for review, it's not going to be properly scored.

Those ARE the referees, Arnie. The players, the playing partners, the rules officials and marshals and observers (not spectators, Observers, which is clearly defined in the Rules of Golf as a group identified by the tournament committee and is a part of the tournament organization). The KNOWLEDGEABLE parties involved - and not just knowledgeable about golf, but about the particular instance in question, because they are INSIDE the ropes.

Infractions happen - the DQ is not the problem. It's HOW the DQ came about that is the problem.

And as I said, you are ignoring the reality of the situation if you think Michelle received equal treatment in this regard. Why isn't anyone looking to see the line of drop for Grace park on 8 on the third round? Was she really in line between the thorn bush and the hole when she dropped in the seventh fairway? How far out of line would constitute a violation? Why didn't someone ask the rules committee to review that decision? And if videotape and eyesight cannot confirm the angle, why wasn't a compass brought out onto the seventh fairway to examine her line and angle back to the eighth hole?

Because Grace felt she dropped legally. Did she ask Michelle to look at her drop and confirm it was OK? I doubt it as Michelle was not within sight, since Grace could barely see the flag from down there. But if Bamberger felt that Grace was a worthy story for the weekend, he may have followed her down there, and might have seen her line, and might have questioned it, and maybe the rules officials would have gone to these lengths, and maybe Grace would have been DQed.

A lot of maybes and mights. This kind of situation comes up all the time in golf. How many players have been subjected to the string test, as Michelle was, based on a spectator call?

The referees WERE in place - their names were Michelle, Grace, and their caddies. They felt it was OK at the time, and didn't feel afterward that there was anything further to review there.

Bamberger feels differently, and suddenly the tournament officials go to greater lengths, literally with the string, than anyone you mention in ANY of those DQs was subjected to, Joe. The honor of the players as referees is exactly what was NOT respected here, Arnie. And as for calling in a rules official as veterans would do, is that really what they do? Did Grace have a rules official review her removal of rocks behind her ball on 8? Did she have one check her line of drop back into the seventh fairway? Is it NOT common practice to review and resolve these decision on your own, with your playing partner as your primary reference, if you feel you need one, except in extreme cases when a rules official is warranted?

This was bad. This was badly handled and badly ruled. The process was flawed every which way.
10/17/05 @ 16:06
Comment from: Curious [Visitor]
Does anyone know how far the hole was from Michelle's drop?
10/17/05 @ 16:57
Comment from: Len [Visitor]
What a joke. When will some journalists learn they are there to report on the event not be apart of it. The PLAYERS are the ones who uphold the rules - if Wie, her playing partner and the officials saw no foul then case over. This is all jealously just like they tried to do with Tiger and his caddie. Get over it all of you who can't appreciate excellence and achievement!
10/17/05 @ 17:27
Comment from: intrigued golf fan [Visitor]
Couldn't agree with you more, Jennifer. Bamberger did the worst thing possible for any respectable journalist. Did he not only create the news, but he chose the worst possible moment to raise the non-existant issue with LPGA official for the maximum effect. In short, Bamberger is a penilely challenged a-hole, envious of Michelle's golfing skills and talents who makes more money in a year than he could ever make in his life time.
10/17/05 @ 17:49
Comment from: June [Visitor]

In one article, it said the drop spot is 45 ft away from the hole. 45 ft. 12" close to the hole 45 ft away? How ridiculous is that? More importantly , can Michelle really make out the difference of 12" in 45 ft with naked eye? Do we still have any doubt when she said she thought the drop was good?

45 ft!!!!!

45 ft!!!!!
10/17/05 @ 18:05
Comment from: John D [Visitor]
Hi Candace!! James and his friend Tom were playing a round of golf with their wives early on a Sunday. It was a four ball, better ball format with a little bit of cash on the line. James stood on the 10th tee having hooked his previous three tee shots, and to no one's surprise he hooked his drive again. When he found his ball, it was right up against one of the greenskeepers buildings. His wife advised him to hit the shot through a narrow gap between the side of the greenskeepers building and some branches. "I can't do that," James said. "Look how narrow that gap is!" But his wife was persistant in urging him on, and she persuaded James to attempt the risky shot. So James took a mighty swing and struck the ball ... and the ball caromed off a tree branch, richocheted off the building and hit his wife in the head, knocking her stone cold. A week after the funeral, James and another friend, Ashley, were having a round. James teed up the ball on No. 10 and hit the exact shot he had hit a week before. He found his ball in the same spot, and once again his partner advised him to hit through the gap. "No way," James said. "I can't hit that shot." "Why not?" Ashley asked him. "Well," James replied, "you know what happened last time." "No, I don't," said Ashley. "What happened?" "Well, last time I tried that shot," James said, "I made a double bogey!"
10/17/05 @ 18:19
Comment from: Anon [Visitor]
Michelle Wie accepted the LPGA ruling. It's interesting nevertheless that when she made the drop, there were other journalists and even Grace Park (a competitor) were there.

If Michael Bamberger from SI is a honest person and reporter, he
should have approached the LPGA officials on Saturday or on Sunday morning. He is not retarded therefore to claim his alledged reporter's mode made him forget to question the ball drop until the tournament was over. If he had seen something allegedly wrong, he should have challenged the situation immediately, but for him to wait until the tournament is over, a day later, in order to challenge a questionable play only showed that he just wanted a scoop at all costs. It is obvious even to a 10-year old that Bamberger's priority is clearly NOT
about integrity, but to create his scoop and self-importance.

I don't recall the newspapers going bonkers and fully grown sports
newscasters gleefully cackled on television when Tiger's caddie
supposedly stepped on the ball, or when Creamer switched club.

10/17/05 @ 18:31
Comment from: Curious [Visitor]
June, I agree. At 45 feet I would think that the official's determination should be inconclusive. Unless you know EXACTLY where the ball was in the bush and EXACTLY where the ball was after the drop, how can anyone be certain as to their distances from the hole? And on top of this the ball locations are being recalled a day and half later? There must be some margin for error in the official's determination. Am I missing something?
10/17/05 @ 18:41
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
Candace P

You must not have read the examples I mentioned above because Paula C and Jeff Sluman are the only ones who called a penalty on themselves.

P J Horgan, Greg Norman and Meg Mallon in 1996, Lee Janzen in 1998 and Davis Love in 1997 had the penalties called by others.

Michelle advised Grace Park that she was taking a drop which is customary. MW did NOT ask her if the drop area she setup was ok. Even if she did and the fellow competitor said it was ok this would not exempt the player, MW, if it is determined later that it was an illegal drop. This is what happened above to Lee Janzen after he asked Vijay Singh. This penalty was the result of a TV viewer calling in to the officials. If you read the above again you will see that the situation was much more important than a 4th place finish.

Michelle, Grace and their caddies are competitors and they cannot be referees as you sugggest above. None of them are impartial. The lesson clearly learned is to ask for an official ruling. Even if the official gives an incorrect ruling the player is exonerated even if this is discovered later.

If you watched the 3rd round there was a very good exchange between Mr Smith and Annika regarding a drop where the ball was behind a scoreboard. He was very rigid and did not give her what she thought the rule said.

I am still amazed that so many people cannot see this ruling clearly. If you look at the replay the triangulation was done very hastily by Michelle and the angle taken from where the ball landed put the drop area closer to the hole. I would expect the Golf Channel to show clearly what took place and perhaps more people will understand why the ruling is correct.

You can take issue on why there is no limit to when a violation can be called and who can call it on a player. History has shown that the USGA has permitted enough precedents in thsi regard.......for better or for worse. Perhaps when they next review Rules changes based on Decisions made they will address this issue.
10/17/05 @ 18:50
Comment from: George A. [Visitor]
I had this exchange with a very helpful Britney over at Tim McDonald's blog. This should end the conspiracy theories aspect of the Wie DQ on the part of the Wie Warriors:

** Comment from: Britney [Visitor]
If her mistake has been discovered right after her shot, she would have been given a 2 stroke penality. However, as soon as she signed her score card at the end of that day, there was nothing left to do but disqualify her (disqualifation is the automatic penality for submitting an incorrect score for the round). **


Hi, Britney, thanks for your response.

I thought that was the case, but I wasn't sure. So being as it was a round-by-round sich, there is no conspiracy.

To rescue Wie & her caddy from their blunder, Bamberger actually would have had to become part of the story, by speaking up at the moment the drops occurred.

Two scenarios:

"Hey, Michelle, the way you're doing that drop is wrong. You've advanced the ball toward the hole."


"Hey, Michelle, you had better not sign that round-3 scorecard, you might get disqualified. You took an illegal drop and didn't take a 2-stroke penalty."

In both of these hypothetical scenarios, that would be a case of the reporter actually interjecting himself into the events, and no longer being an observer.

The events happened and the reporter was honest and reported the infraction to the officials.

In reality, so long as Wie conducted the drop, didn't take the 2-stroke penalty, and then signed the scorecard, she was over with and done after round 3, as soon as she signed that card.

It matters not when it was brought to the officials' attention, she was a goner and DQ'd, as long as the officials found out about it.

10/17/05 @ 18:52
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
It is obvious that Wie made a mistake, a very careless one at that. And as someone listed awhile ago, great players make those careless mistakes too. I don't think most of us here a calling into question the ruling. Wie admitted she was at fault herself. The question at stake was the timing that Bamberger had told officials. Eye brows must be raising after he chose to inform officials 24 hours later, knowing quite well the result (he was a veteran caddy)

However, the lesson here isn't who's to blame. Michelle has come to respect the rules, learn from her mistakes, and move on from this debacle. As we all should. So thanks Jennifer for pointing it out. I'm pretty sure this won't overshadow the career she is going to have.
10/17/05 @ 20:20
Comment from: John [Visitor]
My lingering unease in this matter is simply this: When Robert O was discussing Annika's drop the day before, he specifically addressed the issue of "closer to the hole", ruling her first drop to be "closer" and asking Annika to take a second drop.

He did all of this "visually". He did not get out a laser rangefinder, which he could legally have used although Annika could not, nor did he get out a piece of string and measure the distance to the hole. He simply looked at it.

I have no reason to believe that had Michelle had the fortuitous foresight to have summoned him to her aid he would have done anything different. He would have looked at it, and either asked her to redrop, or agreed that it was "not closer to the hole".

So why, on Sunday night when he had reconstructed the best available approximation of original lie and dropped position and was unable to "conclusively" determine that a violation existed based upon his visualization of the angles, did he not simply drop the matter there as having "no definitive evidence a violation occurred"?

To use pacing, and direct measurement of distance--two methods not available to the player at the time of drop--to determine that a violation occurred after the fact, when such means would not have been used on course at the time the drop was made seems to me to be an egregious violation of the primary principle underlying all of the Rules of Golf "When in doubt, do what is equitable to all."
10/17/05 @ 20:44
Comment from: Ming [Visitor]
The key word is why did the guy reported it 24 or 36 hours after the 'incident'? Not the issue about the DQ. Why he waited so long to report it?

Luckily the caddie is not Michelle's dad.
10/17/05 @ 20:48
Comment from: meetoo [Visitor]
Jennifer you are awesome!! You got to the heart of this...the timing was simply unacceptable. Because he waited..Michelle broke two rules rather than one. Had he acted earlier..he could have made sure she received only the two shot penalty that the infraction he saw warranted.
10/17/05 @ 20:53
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
June and Curious.

The exact distance is not relevant, the fact is Michelle created a situation where she dropped the ball CLOSER to the hole than she should have.

If you have seen the actual replay or the example on the Golf Channel she placed a tee where the ball originally landed, then moved 2 club lengths from that spot and placed another tee. In between the two tees is where she can drop the ball. The problem is that the line she chose to place the second tee was at an angle that setup the drop area closer to the hole. The rule says you take relief but NO CLOSER to the hole.

Below is my attempt to show what happened. On the first line is what should have happened. Imagine a line from the left tee to tee A. The mistake was that MW took a line from A to C not from A to B. the O is where the ball would be dropped. Sorry it is not a better example.

Tee A-----------O---tee B. This is ok.
O tee C. This is closer to the pin


Clearly the placement of the basll between A and C would be closer to the Pin. This is why I blame the caddie because he should have been able to see the proper angle. It may be a poor example but it is what happened.
10/17/05 @ 21:02
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
Sorry the above example changed after it was posted so it does not clarify anything.
10/17/05 @ 21:04
Comment from: dba [Visitor]
Reply to George A.

Your comment below makes me think this:
To rescue Wie & her caddy from their blunder, Bamberger actually would have had to become part of the story, by speaking up at the moment the drops occurred.

The way I see it, because Bamberger waited to talk to an official about this, he is not just a part of the story, HE IS THE STORY now.

Either he simply lacks the ability think about the possible consequences of one's actions (that goes with many many people, such as our president :) ) OR he's biased against her for some reasons such as when he supposedly was mocked by her in a press conference or when you have a book coming out soon and gaining some name recognition means more $ for you.


10/17/05 @ 21:16
Comment from: Ming [Visitor]
Sceanario: Tiger Woods just won Masters 2006, A reporter (pro Phil Michelson) reported to the rules officials that there seem to be an 'improper drop' on the third round (some 24 or 36 hours later), what would the officials do now?
10/17/05 @ 21:42
Comment from: Chad [Visitor]

Bamberger needs to stop talking to the media so much-he's making himself into a bigger ass every time he opens his mouth.

That whole "reporter mode" comment was a gem-- Look Jerk, if you were in reporter mode why didn't you "report" it to the officials when you had numerous chances.

There are tour officials scattered all over the grounds which means he had an opportunity each time Michelle's group was walking to the next hole to say something. Yet he didn't do anytning.

10/17/05 @ 22:28
Comment from: Curious [Visitor]
Joe, Thanks for your explanation. I understand what you are saying and I understand the rule regarding a drop no closer to the hole. My concern is accuracy of recreating MW's two club drop line. It just seems to me that trying to recall exactly where your drop line was 36 hours later is not going to be very accurate (unless the original marking tees were left there). Thinking about your example (Tee A and Tee B) it does not take much variation between the placement of Tee A and Tee B to make up a 12" difference. For example if Tee A was placed 6" closer to the hole and Tee B was place 6" farther from the hole the 12" difference would be zero. It is because of these inaccuracies and variations that I question the official's determination. Put in another way, from 45 feet plus or minus 6" could have changed their determination. That is why I see thier decision as inconclusive.
10/17/05 @ 23:00
Comment from: Anon [Visitor]
Has anyone read this?

10/17/05 @ 23:34
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]

In EVERY ONE of your cases, the "evidence" needed was collectable from video or personal viewing of the event by rules officials. No one had to try to "re-create" any scenario and use that (by definition unreliable) recreation as the basis for the rules decision. No one had to use three different methods to approximate the key facts relevant to the rule.

No one on hand had a problem with the drop. Video was inconclusive. Pacing off was inconclusive. It required a string to determine the rules violation, and the measurement covered over 45 feet to see a difference of at most 15 inches. If you know geometry and (more appropriately, Michelle) trigonometry, you know that the difference between these lines is less than a few degrees. I maintain that there are MANY cases of drops and other rules-related issues in EVERY tournament that do not receive NEAR this level of scrutiny. You can quote the DQs of past tourneys all you want - I have no problem with Michelle being DQed, given that it was determined she dropped closer to the hole. The problem I have is with the method of determining that she was, in fact, in violation of the rules. I am not at all convinced that she was clearly in violation. Not because I think Michelle walks on water, but because the entire process of determining her adherence, or lack thereof, to the rules is incredible to say the least.

Can you cite ONE example of a player being DQed under such murky circumstances? Drawing out a string the next day to measure approximate drop location and approximate ball location? It's ridiculous.

And not a one of your examples has anything close to this kind of variance, Joe.
10/18/05 @ 01:04
Comment from: Hale [Visitor]
John D wrote:
Maybe Wie isn't ready to play on the big circuit,yet? Afterall, an improper drop does appear to be a move you would expect from an amateur.
Does anyone remember a PGA tournament earlier this year where a non-rookie PGA player positioned his caddie down the slope. I can't remember why he was making the drop, just that it happened. He made the drop and the ball started down the slope, he then asked his caddie to catch the moving ball which his caddie did. After doing this twice, he place his ball and made his shot. Several holes later he was informed of the penalty.

Several years ago veteran golfer Craid Stadler placed a towel on the ground to protect his pants while playing his ball. He incurred a penalty for this.
10/18/05 @ 03:00
Comment from: L. Yim [Visitor]
In an interview about 2 years ago (when Michelle was 14 years old) for 60 Minutes, she was asked how she felt about some men not wanting her to play in their field. Michelle's response was "men's egos are so fragile. They can easily be taken down." When Michelle made a remark on Saturday about feeling like she was teaching geometry, she took Jerk Hamberger's ego down and so he took her down. Tit for tat.
10/18/05 @ 04:54
Comment from: Denver Player [Visitor]
When the news broke regarding the drop infraction, I initially thought it was with regard to the height at which she dropped the ball from on her second drop, prior to her placing the ball.

If you watch the replay, her second drop was substantially lower than shoulder height. She dropped it from chest height. I really thought someone would call in about that.
10/18/05 @ 05:56
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

YOu do not seem to think 15 inches is a lot, well in golf it is huge. I think you and others are getting things so convoluted that is is impossible to explain this to someone who does not want ot be open minded. The only reason a line was used was to prove Michelle why she was closer to the hole.

None of the people on this Blog understand the Rules of Golf as well as the officials who made the decision. To people who know the Rules this decision is quite clear.

You and the other people who come to watch golf because of your interest in Michelle need to learn the Rules.

I have no doubt Michelle and her caddie both kow these rules but they marked the drop area carelessly and I am sure this will not happen again. Golf officials always give every consideration to what is best for the player but in the end they must enforce the rules. That is all they did in this case.

10/18/05 @ 09:09
Comment from: Ho-J [Visitor]

Well said. I have no problem with MW DQ'd if in fact she violated the rule. But how many of us can actually remember where the ball was 24 or 30 hours later on a golf course? LPGA messed up and SI reporter was merely getting back to her. Now it backfired in his face... Serves him right. Thanks to him and LPGA. No doubt this incident will make MW better and stronger. I am very proud of the way MW handled herself in the end.
10/18/05 @ 09:23
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
Comment from: John [Visitor]
My lingering unease in this matter is simply this: When Robert O was discussing Annika's drop the day before, he specifically addressed the issue of "closer to the hole", ruling her first drop to be "closer" and asking Annika to take a second drop.

John this is a very different situation.

First, the mistake Michelle made was in where she marked her drop area NOT in making the drop itself. Her drop area was setup on a slightly forward angle as opposed to a lateral area no closer to the pin. This meant that when she dropped the ball it would have to be closer to the hole.

Second, Annika had asked for a Ruling on where to setup her drop area. She was behind a temporary scoreboard.Once this is agreed then when the player drops the ball it is clear if it rolls toward the hole or back or stays still. What you raised is after Annika had already agreed the drop area (although she was not happy about it) and after her ball dropped it rolled forward. This is clear to the eye. After you drop twice and it rolls closer to the hole you are then permitted to place the ball.
10/18/05 @ 09:24
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

The LPGA did not mess up as you state. Once a violation is pointed out there is an obligation to pursue it. They did what they should do which is what the PGA, USGA and any other tournament would do.

If there should be a time limit or if an outside spectator can raise the vilation are a suject that might be worth discussing by the USGA and the R & A rules people for the future. As it stands nowthere are many cases of vioaltions being pointed out by spectators or TV viewers.

This was all done by the Rules even if you do not like it or understand it.
10/18/05 @ 09:53
Comment from: David [Visitor]
Joe regarding your comment "You and the other people who come to watch golf because of your interest in Michelle need to learn the Rules."
Where in the Rule book does it say anything about SI reporters monitoring play and TV cameras to review situations?
Bottom line is that this type of review and DQ has always been rediculous because there can't possibly be a camera on every shot, every player in evary situation. Hence it should not be allowed.
10/18/05 @ 10:12
Comment from: Ho-J [Visitor]

I appreciate your comment. But I said that LPGA messed up because of the fact that the measurement was based on "approximation". I don't know if you are a golfer. But do you honestly believe that people know exactly where their balls were on a golf course (which is very big I might add) after 24 to 36 hours had passed? Here we are talking about inches, not feet or yard. LPGA's decision was based on "inconclusive" data. I have no problem LPGA enforcing the rules if done right.
10/18/05 @ 10:33
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

Yes I am a golfer although never to be seen on TV. I think the replay was sufficient to show where the ball was and I think both the caddie and Michelle could remember easily how they figured the drop area. I think the replay also showed how they did this rather hastily which I do not understand particularly with the experience of the caddie.

In any event they have moved on and so should we.
10/18/05 @ 11:17
Comment from: Jason [Visitor]

Great point by Ron Mon on his blog--I wish more people would
check out his blog on this website-he's a lot more "balanced" than Baldwin or Mcdonald.


"What does that mean, "my reporter's mode"? Does that mean he resisted justice in order to advance a story line by his non-action? If so, he should have his press credentials confiscated. What could have been so god-awful compelling that he would not bring it up to Michelle or an official on the spot? Were Mr. and Mrs. Haverkamp hitting more balls into the pond?

"I thought about it more and was just uncomfortable that I knew something. Integrity is at the heart of the game." Is integrity at the heart of reporting? Clearly Bamberger does not subscribe to simple human compassion. While individual integrity is at the heart of the game, so is communal integrity."
10/18/05 @ 12:19
Comment from: RC [Visitor]
If this is the way the USGA runs their tournaments - let me off the boat. Yes, the rules official correctly identified the fact that the ball was dropped closer to the hole, thus incurring two stroke penalty. However the only way it was discovered was with a string???????? Does he expect all GOLFERS to now carry a 100 yds of string to validate their drops? Welcome to the 7 hour round. If that official couldn't visually determine that Wie's drop was closer to the hole - how could the USGA expect Wie to. Was the infraction intentional, done with forethought or malious, I think not. One of the worst decisions ever made. My opinion of the USGA just dropped tremendously
10/18/05 @ 16:07
Comment from: William B. Cissell [Visitor]
Right on Jennifer! I concur that Bamberger was unethical in grabbing a news headline by stabbing a 16 year-old in her first pro tounament. Had he had decent ethical standards, he would have sacrificed the potential headline to help Michelle Wei corret the error and avoid DQ.
10/18/05 @ 16:19
Comment from: Joel Oberman [Visitor]
Dear Jennifer and her readers:

I wanted to share an email that I sent to both Mr. Bamberger and Sports Illustrated regarding this unfortunate incident. Through all of our collective encouragement and will, let's work to help the media uphold their powerful responsibilities.
____________________________________ Dear Mr. Bamberger:

I wanted to share my thoughts with you directly regarding the Michelle Wie situation. Unfortunately, I was not able to find your email address. Therefore, I forwarded my thoughts to Sports Illustrated (see attached).

My reason for writing to you and to Sports Illustrated is to confirm the important responsibility which you, your publisher and the entire press have for decency, "human compassion and self-criticism." A more important responsibility than "getting the story."

Mr. Bamberger, you have earned yourself a respected reputation as a senior and experienced journalist. I am confident you will reflect on this situation and become an even better journalist and person in the future.

With Respect,

Joel Oberman

-----Original Message-----
From: siletters@simail.com
To: Joeloberman@aol.com
Sent: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 15:25:30 -0400
Subject: RE: (no subject)

Thank you for writing to express your concerns regarding the Michelle
Wie-Michael Bamberger situation. Your letter will be shared with the senior
editing staff.


> ----------
> From: Joeloberman@aol.com [mailto:Joeloberman@aol.com]
> Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 8:26 AM
> To: siletters - SI
> Subject: (no subject)
> Dear Sports Illustrated and Michael Bamberger:
> I was very disappointed to read about the actions taken by your senior
reporter, Michael Bamberger, as related to reporting on Michelle Wie's free drop
last Saturday.
> What possible motive or right did Mr. Bamberger have for raising this issue
with the LPGA officials more than 24 hours after it happened? Does Mr.
Bamberger feel that a free drop by a 16 year old girl in her first professional
tournament was a threat to the integrity of golf? If so, why didn't he take
action as Ms. Wie was making her drop . . . or immediately after it happened .
. . or even the same day?
> Our society has rightfully granted the media wide-ranging freedoms and rights.
Along with these powerful rights, however, go important responsibility, human
compassion and self-criticism.
> Mr. Bamberger has loudly exercised his freedom and rights. Please let us know
when Mr. Bamberger plans to comment on his responsibilities.
> I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply.
> With Respect,
> Joel S. Oberman

10/18/05 @ 16:32
Comment from: Bruce [Visitor]
Michael Bamberger and Sports Illustrated have gotten what they wanted. A message sent to a 16 year old that this is the "real"(read corrupt)world of professional sports, and at the same time satisfied themselves that they have showed this "upstart" that she can't just run roughshod over the golfing world (especially when it comes to mens golf I'll wager). Bamberger and his magazine make me want to puke. I can't believe that ANYONE could fall for this BS, except for course official R. Smith apparently. I will never purchase the magazine again, view their specials or have anything to do with them whatsoever. I certainly hope Michelle sees it the same way.
10/18/05 @ 16:41
Comment from: dba [Visitor]
Comment on Bruce's comment. I don't think Bamberger went that far in his thinking, trying to protect the golfing world.
Here's what I think:

Bamberger agonized over what to do overnight before coming to an official.
I think these were some of his thoughts.

-Why didn't I talk to an official right after I saw the drop? People will ask why I waited until after the tournament was over which might lead to her DQ?

-Will people say I wanted my 15 minutes of fame?

-People will accuse me of manipulating the situation so that I can sell more of my book that will be released in 2 weeks?

-People will say I'm trying to get her because she mocked and belittled me in front of a big group of reporters, some my peers.

-How will Wie react? Will she crumble in public and start saying bad things to me?

-Despite all these, I should do the right thing because I love the game of Golf too much.

I wonder what I'd have done in similar situation.
10/18/05 @ 16:53
Comment from: William B. Cissell [Visitor]

I agree with you. I believe Bamberger and Sports Illustrated deserve to be nominated for a Hall of Shanme. What Bamberger did is as reprehensible as anything papparazzi do.
10/18/05 @ 17:11
Comment from: June [Visitor]
I have thought about what might transpire this whole illegal drop thing for whole day and this is what I came up with.

By putting club between the hole and the point of entrance to draw AB, and then put 2 club lengths perpendicular to that fist shaft (method A), you are not getting equilateral triangle. Point C obtained by this way is actually further back from the hole than actual point C of equilateral triangle ABC. Of course by doing the way you describe, there is no chance the ball is end up any closer to the hole.

Now comes the tricky part. From the TV viewing, it sure looks like if you putting 2 clubs like the way you described (method A), it does look like there is a chance the drop point is somewhere on the dirt area. But this doesn?t give you equilateral triangle point C. Actual point C of equilateral triangle ABC would be a little upfront from the dirt area (method B). While there is smaller margin of error in this method, if it is done correctly the ball won?t be closer to the hole, but you can get the drop spot closer to the hole than the spot you got from method A. By using method B, it seems to me like Michelle tried to avoid the dirt area, which is risky but still perfectly within the rule.

Michelle did mention during 3R press conference she had used triangle method and also did mentioned about equilateral triangle although she didn?t elaborate any further when Bamberger asked her exactly how.

Now if Bamberger or casual TV viewer think of only method A and don?t have any idea Michelle was using method B (equilateral triangle), a red flag might raised in their mind when she put the second club at the point C although what she was trying to do was perfectly legal within the rule. I guess this was sticking point when Bamberger went ?Oh. Oh? more than the way she carelessly put the second club closer to the point C obtained by method A. But Michelle might be putting second club at the point C obtained by method B. So she has no reason to believe what she is doing is wrong up to this point or after everything is said and done the drop spot is ended up closer to the hole because there is such small margin of error in method B.

Even more complicating aspect is that, if Bamberger and official paced it off the distance following method A, of course it sure looks like what Michelle has done seems wrong. After informed about the possible infraction, I am not sure how accurately and in reasonable manner Michelle could have explained this two separate scenarios to the official or if she ever did so.

This might explain this whole unfortunate episode. Sorry about the long post and rambling but I can?t seem to stop thinking about it cause I feel sorry for Michelle for what happened. But give your thought on that matter. Am I pushing? Is it possible that real issue is truly difference between method A and B?

Take up a pencil and a paper and draw yourself method A and B and think about it.
10/18/05 @ 17:53
Comment from: William B. Cissell [Visitor]
Joel Oberman,

Right On! You nailed the issue real well. Mr. Bamberger had the opportunity to act honorably, but he chose to act dishonorably. This is a failure to act responsibly.
10/18/05 @ 18:30
Comment from: William B. Cissell [Visitor]

I concur that Mr. Bamberger's explanation of his dishonorable behavior is inadequate to convince anyone. His behavior is tranparentand reprehensible.
10/18/05 @ 18:33
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]

Where do you come off assuming that I am a golf fan only because of Michelle Wie, or that I need to learn the Rules of Golf? I happen to be a long, LONG time golf fan and player, and I have been a USGA member for many years. I have many copies of the Rules and Regulations. I have read them many times, in particular when an issue such as this comes up. Barry J did an excellent job of outlining relevent sections in another reply on this thread, but I mentioned the Rules and in particular the Spirit of the Game section in my initial post here.

Where and when did I say 15 inches was insignificant? What I DID say was that 15 inches over a 45 plus foot measurement is a small differential, and therefore it is exceedingly unlikely Bamberger could discern this differential with the naked eye. I never said that the distance was insignificant in regards to the rules. In fact, I HAVE said that she should suffer all the penalties appropriate given her violations. My issue all along has been with the METHOD, the PROCESS, not the ruling itself.

You mention that the video evidence seemed clear to you - now who is claiming to know the Rules better than the officials at the tournament? THEY said the video was inconclusive, but you know better apparently.

You say the only reason a line was used was to prove why she was closer to the hole - not from any account I have read. Video and pacing off were inconclusive, so a line was used to DETERMINE if she was closer. Not WHY she was closer, but IF she was closer.

And finally, you also assume I am closed minded and convoluted, and stupid to boot apparently, and therefore you cannot "explain this" to me. You are allowing the fact that this is a Michelle Wie-centered story to paint anyone who disagrees with this ruling as a fanatic, and a weak-minded one at that. Who is closed-minded here again?

I am not writing in defense of Michelle Wie. I am writing in defense of the game of golf. This was a travesty. Show examples of anything like this ever happening before - a reporter making a call on a rules violation 36 hours late, the violation being nearly impossible to determine in factual basis, EXTREME measures being used to attempt to validate a decision which is inherently subject to a margin of error greater than the perceived violation...you can't, because it hasn't happened this way. Because that is not how golf is played, nor how it's play is governed.

Very nice of you to be so willing to "move on" from this story after tossing out personal insults in your closing arguments. Also interesting that you think this incident is so insignificant, and yet you are quite adamant about your position, to the point of claiming that anyone who sees it differently from you - or takes exception to your failed attempts to generate a basis in support of this ludicrous situation - is closed-minded and fails to understand the rules.

Perhaps you need to examine your own viewpoint further before spouting off about things you can only assume, such as the understanding other people have of the situation and the rules of the game.
10/18/05 @ 18:55
Comment from: John D [Visitor]
Oh Candace ! ! ! A man and wife were playing in their club's annual "Guys and Dolls" tournament. The man was not happy about having to play, but his wife had insisted. On the 12th tee, his patience had reached its limit. While his wife wasted time on the ladies tee, he decided to go ahead and hit his drive from the mens. Unfortunately, he misjudged his shot and his ball hit his wife in the back of the head, killing her instantly. At the hospital the doctor came to talk to the husband. "Mr. Davies, we found a golf ball lodged 3 inches into your wife's brain, which was the the cause of death. But, we have found something else that really puzzles us." "What is it?" asked Mr. Davies. "Well," said the doctor, "we also found a golf ball lodged 6 inches into her anal cavity." The husband dismissed the doctor with a wave of his hand "Oh, that was just my Mulligan!"
10/18/05 @ 19:25
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

I went back to my last comment to you and fail to see where there are any personal insults in the closing part. If I offended you I certainly apoligise.

Do not see where I suggest you are stupid.

It was less than 24 hours not 36 hours.

While what Barry J said is interesting, it is mostly not applicable. Robert O Smith knows what he is doing and made the proper ruling.

15 inches is a big deal no matter how far away from the hole if it gives a player a better lie, not applicable in this instance.

I agree it is odd for a writer, fan or whoever happens to see a violation can report it. However there is precedent for this and unless the USGA changes something it will continue.

Perhaps people should go to USGA.org and send emails looking for a Rule change or a clarification on how long after a violation can someone report it and who is authorised to report it.

I do not see the problem in suggesting people should move on, the Wie family seems to have done that.

Once again sorry if you were offended and I do not think you are stupid.
10/18/05 @ 19:39
Comment from: June [Visitor]
Sorry Candace, i got your name wrong. Still great rebutal.
10/18/05 @ 19:46
Comment from: disappointed [Visitor]
I feel sad for lpga and professional golfing community. Just when those involved in the professional golf (players, writers, fans, etc) have a chance to raise the sport to a new level of interest and excitement, a small minded, self-serving, jealous reporter does his best to bring it down to the mediocrity where LPGA has forever muddled in.

What is so exciting about LPGA without MIchelle WIe, a 16 year old school girl who can hit like the best of the men and who dare to challenge the big boys?

If I were Michelle WIe, I would not give a time of the day to SI and Bamberger, would only play LPGA majors, play international men's tour for a hefty fee, and play a few PGA events. And as soon as she wins any professional golf tournament, I would suggest she limit other non major LPGA tournement to about 2 and demand a huge appearance fee with a string of conditions like never pairing with anyone named Ammacapone, etc. Let's see where LPGA would be in a few years.
10/18/05 @ 19:54
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]

Your post stated that I was too biased in favor of Michelle Wie to render a balanced opinion, that I didn't understand or even know the rules of golf, that I was a rube who only watches golf now because of Michelle Wie, and that you wouldn't be able to explain the situation to me. The last comment strikes me as a comment on my stupidity. Either that or you were demeaning your own ability to relate your position. Not sure if there is another interpretation of that statement, but would be glad to hear it.

Regardless, you continue to misunderstand my position, perhaps due to a bias of your own. Again, I never said 15 inches is NOT a big deal. I said it is too small a distance, when compared to the distance to the hole, for Bamberger to be able to discern it with the naked eye. Therefore, Bamberger had to look at this and say, "Hmm, that drop was pretty close to being closer to the hole." He then had to go over and pace off the distance (a pacing that the rules officials, when they later did the same, said was inconclusive). When his pacing made it clear - to him at least - that her ball may well have been closer to the hole, he stopped his inquiry and didn't pursue the matter further until the post-round press conference. No mention of this drop being close to any tournament official over the next three hours that Wie was still on the course (pre-signing her card). No mention to anyone else. He just sat on that information until he deemed it the right time to use it.

15 inches is a big deal. ONE inch is a big deal. I play golf - a lot of it - so I am acutely aware of the advantage an inch can give. I played in a tournament today, in fact, and a sum total of six inches separated my team from placing versus the finish we had in the middle of the pack. I have never stated 15 inches shouldn't matter.

I have stated that Bamberger had to go way out of his way to determine with any confidence that Wie was close to a violation in her drop, because the maximum differential on the 45 plus foot shot is 15 inches (Wie claims it may have been 3 inches - no less a violation, just pointing out that 15 is the largest number out there). If Bamberger could go that far out of his way to examine the situation, I have a hard time believing he had anything OTHER than personal interest at heart when he did not then immediately follow up on his findings. McDonald claims "he had a deadline." Well, he had time enough to go pace off the two locations, didn't he? He has free reign to walk anywhere on the course with his press pass, no? He didn't have five minutes to go tell an official, but he had five minutes to pace off the two locations?

Also, I find the actions of the rules officials to be counter to the Spirit clause in the rulebook. To examine a differential the following day with inexact locations, and find that, at most, a 15 inch differential MAY have occured, does not seem reasonable. The margin of error on location of the ball in the thorn bush, the margin of error on the location of the ball post-drop, and the maximum differential considered appear to indicate that there is a good deal of doubt as to whether or not she really was closer to the hole. The process of triple-examining questionable data seems very much against the equity clauses in the rules. As I mentioned before, why wasn't Grace Park's drop back in the seventh fairway when she took unplayable on her ball in the thorn bush on eight examined for it's line between the hole and the thorn bush and her drop?

Inequality, a lack of respect for the competitor and her playing partner and their decisions in the field, and an incredibly convoluted method of examining highly suspect data. These are the sorts of things you see in "sports" like gymnastics (Paul Hamm) and figure skating (the Canadian/Russian thing in Salt Lake). Golf has always been better than that. Until now.

The problems here are with Bamberger, who engaged in sensationalism with his approach to this entire episode, and the rules officials (and possibly the loose definitions in the rules themselves), who engaged in a farce of equitable management of a golf tournament.

Moving on from this debacle is what the Wie's should do - they should focus on the future. But as fans of the game and readers of sports writers, we should not move on. We should hold Bamberger accountable (as many of his colleagues are doing) and we should air our concerns and frustrations over the process, so that the PGA and LPGA are properly motivated to make sure nothing like this happens again. They only have a viable business because of us. Much like Bamberger calling in his DQ on Wie because (according to him) he felt it was important to the game, we should call in our problems with the management of this tournament before it damages the game. And why wait until this happens again? Unlike Bamberger, let's be proactive about this. Let's say something NOW, not tomorrow.
10/18/05 @ 20:39
Comment from: William Cissell [Visitor]
Candace and Disappointed,

You make some great points. I cannot see how Bamberger thought that he was protecting the integrity of professional golf by grabbing a news headline at the expense of an emerging star. The fact that world class LPGA players question Bamberger's timing reinforces suspicion that he had motives unrelated to protecting the integrity of anything.
10/18/05 @ 22:08
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

The point is that the majority of experienced pros see no reason to change. As Stewart Cink says it is discussed every year.

Of course there are other writers who have a different opinion. Officials and a majority of PGA players see the reality of this. I doubt anyone likes the timing but the fact is signing an incorrect scorecard requires DQ.

You are correct, you and others can discuss it all you like.
10/18/05 @ 22:13
Comment from: metoo [Visitor]
Joe misses the point in the article. The penalty for an illegal drop IS NOT disqualification. The pro's think Michelle should have been penalized the two shots and Bamberger should have acted earlier.

That is the same opinion nearly everyone supporting Michelle in these blogs has as well. Are people pissed at Bamberger?? You bet! Would they pissed even if it was two shots?? Probably. Would the situation be more "usual" if Bamberger had acted on Saturday? Absolutely. Do the best players in the world agree that this should not have come to a DQ?? Just look at Joe's article!!!

Its like Joe didn't read the thing! We know she deserved a penalty!! DQ isn't the penalty that typically or (According to the best players in the world) the one that should have happened here.

Look on Sports Illustrated dot com. There is an article by Rob Stranger, one of Bamberger's fellow writers. He blames Bamberger for not acting earlier(while blaming Wie for getting the penalty in the first place)... Michelle deserved a two shot penalty not a dq.
10/18/05 @ 22:18
Comment from: William Cissell [Visitor]
Len Shapiro,

Thanks for writing an article that puts the whole Bamberger act of opportunism in perspective. Great job! You are a true journalist in the best sense of the word. Bamberger is more on par with Clayton Williams, who would have probably been elected governor of Texas had he treated Ann Richards with appropriate respect. Some even believe that Clayton Williams would have been elected to the White House as the surrogate for J. R. Ewing, rather than George W. Bush, had William apologized appropriately to Governor Richards.

As we say in Texas, Banberger's popularity is so low he couldn't get elected as dog catcher in our state right now.
10/18/05 @ 23:51
Comment from: William Cissell [Visitor]

Great message! I trust the opinions of golf pros more than those of friends of and apologists for a headline grabbing sports reporter.
10/18/05 @ 23:54
Comment from: William Cissell [Visitor]

I agree the lesson Michelle Wie learned will be worth more than $50,000 over her career. She learned to be extra cautious and trust no one, particularly headline grabbing sports writers. Professional sports and celebrity demand great caution. She learned that good will and sportsmanship are in short supply once you receive huge endorsements and others want to use your celebrity to gain some of the limelight for themselves.
10/19/05 @ 00:02
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]
Metoo, you took the words out of my mouth. Joe, read what metoo had to say. You continue to misinterpret my position - to the point I wonder if you even read what I am saying. Of course, once you "determine" that she has dropped incorrectly and therefore signed an incorrect card, the penalty is to DQ her. The problem is with that determination, and the pros you quote have just as much issue with that process as I do. Look at the quotes! "I think the way it was handled was wrong." And "he should have called it before she signed her scorecard."

The only place I disagree with the players comments in that article is in regards to having galleries and others call these violations in - I think that the rules need to be tightened surrounding such calls. I think better standards need to be set. Admirable of Tiger to say that he and other high profile players simply need to deal with a higher level of scrutiny, but frankly I do not like settling for that result. Equity is a KEY part of the game, and I think it can be achieved, or at least something nearer to equity can be achieved, with some rules changes. Certainly something more equitable than this ridiculous string incident!
10/19/05 @ 03:49
Comment from: Candace Polski [Visitor]

To make sure you get my point: the issue is NOT whether or not she should be DQed for an incorrect card.

The issue is HOW it was determined she in fact HAD committed a violation and THEREFORE had signed an incorrect card.

The issue is NOT the result. The issue is the process.

The issue is NOT that a fan or gallery member called in the violation. The issue is the process by which this call was made and decided. The timing, the judging of the issue, and the determination are the issue.

The fact that the person making the call was a reporter is a separate issue entirely, but one that also deserves scrutiny from a fan/reader of golf writers standpoint, and one that only adds to the foul smell that permeates the entire situation.
10/19/05 @ 04:01
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
Candace, metoo

I guess I can only agree to disagree.

I am not pleased with the reporter, particularly the timing of notifying the officials. However, once the officials are aware of a possible violation they must look into it.

I believe none of the pros have a problem with the officials only that the reporter should have acted sooner.

You are upset with the process, it could have been done better but it happened. I feel it is a good lesson learned and MW will be better for this in the future.

I have more compassion for young Craig Stadler who was DQ'd this past week for having a damaged club in his bag. It was deemed a non conforming club, he had no idea of how it got that way. I think he would have finished around 4th or 5th and won enough money for him to keep his Card. Now he will not keep it.

10/19/05 @ 07:09
Comment from: HipHopSamurai [Visitor]
HELP TO GET BAMBERGER FIRED!! End your subscription to Sports Illustrated. Let them know why you are doing so. Boycott the products advertised in Sports Illustrated. Let these companies know why you are doing so. Contact Time/Warner INC and tell them of your actions. Convince friends and family members to do the same and to spread the word. Bamberger messed with Michelle's job, do the same to him.
10/19/05 @ 08:55
Comment from: meetoo [Visitor]
Joe-- what are we agreeing to disagree about?? Candace, Myself and most of the people writing in support of Michelle in these blogs have no issue with the LPGA officals. We are upset by Bamberger's actions---namely his WAITING a day to turn Michelle in.

Let's recap--

Jennifer Mario's blog took him to task for waiting

Tim McDonald's blog called Michelle's fans "snivelling" for daring to complain about Bamberger's timing

Chris Baldwin's blog said "Wie Warriors" had no right to blame SI reporter (Bamberger).

In each of these blogs the majority of Michelle backers have been consistent.... We understand that she has the reponsibility to follow the rules. We understand she could have asked for a ruling on the course. Because she didn't she DESERVES a penalty of TWO SHOTS. What we complain about is the fact that Bamberger's waiting caused her to incur a SECOND violation that resulted in a DQ.

There are secondary issues that get thrown about.. should a reporter have been involved in this type of action (Len Shapiro former Pres. of golf writers assoc--says no). Should outsiders be able to affect the outcome of a tournament (looks like the pro's don't mind but I don't like it) . What were the REAL reasons surrounding Bamberger's delay??--(we will never know but it sure looks bad)
But in the end this is about TIMING!

Who is complaining about the LPGA officials???

We are complaining about Bamberger...the same as Vijay and Sean Ohair. We wonder why integrity, decency and sportsmanship didn't lead him to turn her in on Saturday when the CORRECT penalty could be assessed.

You say you also have a problem with the process...

So again, if we are saying the same thing...

What are we agreeing to disagree about???
10/19/05 @ 09:02
Comment from: meetoo [Visitor]
I hate Bamberger...but I love SI!!!

Not gonna boycott.
10/19/05 @ 09:05
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

I guess I do not see that it is such an incredible big deal. It would have been better if the guy had pointed it out on Saturday, he did not and the only course was to DQ MW.

Nothing more worth debating about, at least for me.
10/19/05 @ 09:54
Comment from: metoo [Visitor]
Let me one last point Joe.

You mentioned Kevin Stadler, and the tragedy that the he incurred a penalty(playing with a damaged club) last week that will likely cost him his card.

Say someone KNEW he had the damaged club...BEFORE it would have cost him a DQ.

Would it be a "big deal" if that person didn't inform him?? If you were Kevin Stadler (or Michelle Wie) and someone knew you had incurred a penalty (when you didn't know) and they waited to inform officials only AFTER disqualification was the only remedy, how would you feel?

If the brakes on your car were bad and someone told you ONLY AFTER you had crashed, how would you feel??

If you were playing baseball and had a corked bat, but were only informed AFTER you hit the game winning homerun (which is now disallowed, and you can dwell on it during your suspension) would it upset you that someone KNEW AND ALLOWED YOU TO USE THE BAT??

Sure the officials did the right thing in DQ'ing her (they actually had no choice...so its not like it was some courageous act...it was the only act)

The questions remain...is it fair? Is it fair that a two shot penalty turned in to a DQ because someone waited to turn her in??

The fact is...you know what I know, It was wrong.

It was wrong. He acted in a way that left Michelle and the tournament officials with no recourse.

And it could have been avoided...she could have learned her lesson...at the price of TWO SHOTS.

His actions have no defense....no matter what Baldwin, McDonald, George A...or anyone else says...

His actions were questionable as a reporter (see Len Shapiro)

They were outside the expected bahavior in golf (See Vijay Singh or Sean O'Hair's comments)

They were worthy of blame (see fellow SI reporter Strange's article on SI.com)

And at the end of the day...They were unnecessary.

The golf gods could have been appeased, the field could have been protected, the CORRECT PENALTY COULD HAVE BEEN METED OUT, and Baldwin could have STILL giggled at Michelle's stupidity....

All if he acted on time!

You are right there is little left to debate!
10/19/05 @ 10:40
Comment from: Karen [Visitor]

Right on -me too!!
10/19/05 @ 10:46
Comment from: Ann [Visitor]
I agree with you metoo. I'm not debating about the drop itself, because Wie SHOULD'VE called an official. What probably disappoints me the most was how Bamberger was "tossing and turning," before deciding to tell the officials A DAY LATER.

I'm not sure if I was the only one that noticed, but Bamberger has been consistent in telling everyone that he "approached" Wie about it. The only that thing I remember was him asking her a question during the press conference, to which she kind of joke about "teaching geometry" about it. Everyone was laughing. But that is NOT "approaching" her about as he insisted. Also, why didn't he go to the officials after the conference? I know, by then it is already a DQ. Somehow, I believe that he wanted a WIE upset over Annika, and THEN having to officials. What would be better press than having Wie win at her first pro turnout, and then disqualified.

Any one with the same feelings?
10/19/05 @ 11:14
Comment from: John D [Visitor]
Ignorance of the law is no excuse
10/19/05 @ 11:26
Comment from: metoo [Visitor]
John D-

Your remark, although pithy is both inapplicable to these events and legally incorrect. Ignorance of the law is justification in nearly all courts.

Said another way..if you don't know you are stealing..did you steal? You see the law generally requires and understanding that what you are doing is wrong. You can be convicted of unintentional acts if the consequences of those acts were "forseeable".

What does all of this have to do with Michelle Wie...NOTHING

What it does show is that your pithy little statement is both not applicable to a sporting event and FACTUALLY WRONG on its face.

As Jenny said in Forrest Gump..."Are you stupid or something"
10/19/05 @ 11:37
Comment from: Bruce [Visitor]
BRAVO Len!! That says it all. Except I still suspect something deeper. Even if it is only in Bamberger's twisted mind
10/19/05 @ 12:14
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]

brakes on a car etc.....

I hope you are in Theater or Hollywood because you getting a bit overly dramatic.

MW joins the long list of golfers who got DQ'd for whatever reason it is not a near death experience. It does not even rank at the top of how much someone lost because of the DQ. She will actually benefit from this in my opinion.

As mentioned before it would have been better if the guy had said something sooner but he did not.

You said it was one last point and I have already suggested we should move on so where we disagree I think is in the level of severity of what happened. You think it is far more serious than I do and you are entilted to that opinion. Maybe you channel your passion about this to the USGA where maybe they will do something like put in a time limit or something.

As for me I look forward to lots of great golf from the LPGA kids in 2006.

Thank you for correcting the name of young Stadler.
10/19/05 @ 12:57
Comment from: joey [Visitor]
Oh great, now we are faced with huge delays because everyone is going to wait for officials to arrive on every situation. Makes me laugh when people say we are supposed to know the rules. If that is the case, why does everyone always ask for a ruling? Don't these pros know the rules? Hey let's have some fun and review old tapes and see who else we can DQ after the fact!
10/19/05 @ 13:31
Comment from: Joel Oberman [Visitor]
One could only be further disappointed to read Sports Illustrated follow-on story by Alan Shipnuck reporting on Michelle Wie's disqualification.

In my first letter to Mr. Bamberger and Sports Illustrated, I hopefully looked to them to "do the right thing" and acknowledge their "responsibility, human compassion and self-criticism." It is now clear that my faith was badly misplaced.

This lack of balanced reporting and individual / corporate responsibility prompted my second letter which I have copied below.

Dear Sports Illustrated and Michael Bamberger:

Following from my letter of Monday (attached below), I was shocked and further disappointed to read Alan Shipnuck's story regarding Michelle Wie's disqualification. Through this article, you use the power of your publication to further justifiy and fully defend the unfortunate actions of Mr. Bamberger.

The press in general and Time, Inc. in particular has consistently attacked any real or perceived imperfection from our politicians, business leaders, athletes and generally anyone newsworthy to help sell media. However, when that imperfection comes from within, it is clear that Mr. Bamberger, Sports Illustrated and Time, Inc. do not hold themselves to the same standard.

Where is the balance in your reporting? How can any publication defend such a lack of self-reflection and human compassion? Why have you not addressed your personal and corporate responsibilites in this situation, or do you think they are neither noteworthy nor important? Where is the self-criticism?

In my previous letter, I hopefully looked to Mr. Bamberger and Sports Illustrated to "do the right thing" and acknowledge their "responsibility, human compassion and self-criticism." It is now clear that my faith was badly misplaced.

While it is certainly disappointing to see such lack of personal and corporate responsibility, it is undefendable to use the power of your publications to justify your position with no discernable effort at balanced reporting. Speaking for myself, I have lost tremendous respect and trust in both your reporting and values.

With sadness and lost respect,

Joel Oberman
-----Original Message-----
From: siletters@simail.com
To: Joeloberman@aol.com
Sent: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 15:25:30 -0400
Subject: RE: (no subject)

Thank you for writing to express your concerns regarding the Michelle
Wie-Michael Bamberger situation. Your letter will be shared with the senior
editing staff.


> ----------
> From: Joeloberman@aol.com [mailto:Joeloberman@aol.com]
> Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 8:26 AM
> To: siletters - SI
> Subject: (no subject)
> Dear Sports Illustrated and Michael Bamberger:
> I was very disappointed to read about the actions taken by your senior
reporter, Michael Bamberger, as related to reporting on Michelle Wie's free drop
last Saturday.
> What possible motive or right did Mr. Bamberger have for raising this issue
with the LPGA officials more than 24 hours after it happened? Does Mr.
Bamberger feel that a free drop by a 16 year old girl in her first professional
tournament was a threat to the integrity of golf? If so, why didn't he take
action as Ms. Wie was making her drop . . . or immediately after it happened .
. . or even the same day?
> Our society has rightfully granted the media wide-ranging freedoms and rights.
Along with these powerful rights, however, go important responsibility, human
compassion and self-criticism.
> Mr. Bamberger has loudly exercised his freedom and rights. Please let us know
when Mr. Bamberger plans to comment on his responsibilities.
> I would appreciate the courtesy of a reply.
> With Respect,
> Joel S. Oberman

10/19/05 @ 15:01
Comment from: Ming [Visitor]
What is going to happend now in future (maybe), fans of either players are going to call in and say ..."hey, this so and so had an illegal drop at hole 18..u guys (tournament officials) better check it out"

Remember one of the tennis players got stabed...because he was a fan of the top player at the time?
10/19/05 @ 21:38
Comment from: Ming [Visitor]
Check out the interview with the SI writer at cnnsi.com. There is a section after the interview where you can express your thoughts.
10/19/05 @ 22:11
Comment from: Jas [Visitor]
First, if I read the news right, the officials couldn't decide whether Wie violated the rule from the video tape. They couldn't even draw conclusion after pacing off. They finally decided after measuring with a string. My question is that if the officials couldn't decide the distance by eye-balling it, how could they expect players to eye-ball it accurately? Are players expected to carry string or tape measurement in their pocket?

Second, I can't think of any sports that would reverse the result on the field/court based on a "reenactment" one day after the game was played. In a few sports - cough figure skating cough - decisions were made based on tape replays. In most sports I know of, doesn't the on-field call stand if the tape replay is inconclusive? I think that's NFL rule. How could anyone expect accuracy from a reenactment?

I could just imagine the NFL officials tell two pro football teams back on the field on Monday to recreate a goal-line stand because a reporter tells an official that the ball didn't breach the goal line and the tape is inconclusive. I can't imagine that would fly with any other sports.

Last, I happened to read an article on Morgan Pressel in SI a few months ago. It was so full of catty remarks about Wie that I took an instant dislike of Pressel. (Note to Morgan Pressel: Not many people or corporate sponsors like a catty person.) I'm curious about SI's motive here. Do they try to build up Pressel and knock down Wie because they have more access to Pressel?

At the very minimum, Bamburger's journalistic ethic is suspect. As many people have pointed out, journalists report stories. Journalists shouldn't creat stories or take it upon themselves to change the result of a sports tournament. They could complain about officiating all they want in their reports, but they shouldn't step into the officials' role themselves.

My hats off to many of posters here who made detailed analysis of various rules. You should send your analysis to LPGA Commissioner's Office.
10/20/05 @ 02:10
Comment from: dba [Visitor]
So it seems like most agree the real issue here is the fact Bamberger waited overnight before bringing it up to an official.

I've seen some great technical analysis here but it should be noted that human emotions are powerful forces also.

Here's my speculation. Bamberger saw the illegal drop but he was in the reporter mode so he only wanted to make sure what he saw was actually an illegal drop. That's why he went out of his way to actually measure it. Than in his reporter mode he asked Michelle in the press conference about the drop. I want to give him a benefit of doubt and say that Bamberger still had no intention of causing MW any harm at this point. I don't think anyone would be that evil. I guess the turning point would be when MW uttered 'teaching geometry' in response to Bamberger's question. Everyone laughs except for Bamberger. He covers and writes about golf hence many/most of his colleagues/competitors/friends in his field are present. Bamberger didn't laugh like others nor did he ask any more questions afterwards.
His tossing and turning that night comes (when he's not in his reporter mode since he's not looking for things to report about) from agonizing over what to do about this 16 yr girl who humiliated him in a very very public place. It's too late to get back at her with just 2 shot penalty. But I don't want to see DQ on her record. But than ... she made a fool out of me in front of my friends/competitors. What to do?

I really wonder what was said between Bamgerber and SI before he went to the official. I'm sure SI folks knew going public would mean DQ? Not that they shouldn't have just because of the potential DQ...
10/20/05 @ 04:25
Comment from: justice [Visitor]
torturing young girl like that
because of joke?
maybe or not...
however well planned plots by si and berger!!!
sick si and berger!
10/20/05 @ 05:10
Comment from: Paul F [Visitor]
Just finished reading Bamberger's interwview at SI. He states that he was covering Michelle Wie's debut. Yet after Michelle moved on to the 8th tee he remained behind and paced off both the original spot and the drop spot not ONCE but TEN TIMES. How long did that take? Was he now really covering the Wie story as a sportswriter or did he somehow become an investigative reporter for SI?
I also viewed the area in question at SI website. I can see why by eyeballing or pacing it off would be inconclusive. The ball was in a bunch of bushes and almost impossible to accurately pace off or eyeball. How Mr. Bamberger was able to do so is a mystery. But he came up with a one pace differential. That on the average would be at least 3 feet. But after further review by the officials using a STRING as a third option it was deemed in the neighborhood of about 12 -15 inches. Giving all the circumstances and recreating the exact spots a day later would in my opinion further compound the true accuracy of the calculation. Thus rendering it also inconclusive. Whether it be Michelle, Paula, Annika, or any golfer they should be ccorded some benefit of a doubt in something so bizarre as this.
In the end it was Michelle's responsibilty to make a legal drop under the rules. She said she did. Inconclusive evidence said she did not. For that she was DQed.
10/20/05 @ 08:49
Comment from: Chuck [Visitor]
I'm not a golf fan, and don't consider this game a valid sport. However, I like everyone else, see reports on gofing events and celebrities. I felt badly for Ms. Wie at the unfortunate turn of events that led to her disqualification, but the additional information that this "event" was manufactured by SI's "Mr. Bambeger" left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I ama fan of pro football , tennis and other sports , but will not purchase Sports Illustrated any longer. At least until Michael Bamberger is fired or properly disciplined for his heinous actions.
10/20/05 @ 09:14
Comment from: Paul F [Visitor]
Here's an article from today's Boston Globe by Sportswriter Jim McCabe, who covered the event and was standing next to Bamberger at the 7th hole during that infamous drop and subsequent happenings.
Having stood near Michael Bamberger Saturday morning as we watched Michelle Wie take her now-infamous drop after an unplayable lie in the Samsung World Championship at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif., I feel qualified to comment. From my perspective, it never should have been the story it has turned out to be.

After Wie and her playing competitor, Grace Park, left the seventh green for the eighth tee, I spent several minutes talking with Bamberger, a writer for Sports Illustrated. He studied the bush in which Wie's ball had been found after an errant second shot at the par-5 hole and he tossed down his sunglasses on the spot from where he claims the teenager had eventually played. His initial reaction was that she had dropped the ball closer to the hole. It was a crude look, but I didn't disagree with him, but neither could I be sure. First of all, no one can say for certain where in the bush the ball was lodged. Second, we were talking inches in a distance that was perhaps 25-30 yards.

Bamberger -- a colleague I've come to know and respect -- was clearly concerned. What I wanted to say to him then was, ''You obviously are assuming a responsibility here that the landscape affords you, but with that responsibility comes an obligation to do so swiftly. You can't have one without the other. This is someone's livelihood you're messing with." No matter that the player in question was the newest rage in golf; I would have felt the same way had it been Marisa Baena or Jeong Jang. Oh, how I regret not saying that, though I'm not sure Bamberger would have acted any differently, and for those who missed the story, here is what he did:

After Wie and Park left the seventh green, Bamberger stayed behind. He said he marked off the yardage, and given the fact that Bamberger was a former caddie on the American and European PGA tours, I don't doubt that he was accurate. He was fairly certain Wie's drop had moved the ball closer to the hole. Here, he had crossed the line from reporter to rules official, and while that is OK, I guess, it's disturbing that he then crossed back into his role of reporter so casually. He questioned Wie about the drop in a post-round press conference and when she didn't convince him that she had determined without doubt that she hadn't dropped closer, Bamberger felt even more uncomfortable. He said he wrestled with his emotions, talked to his boss, and slept poorly. The next morning, knowing that any action he would take could result in Wie's disqualification, Bamberger stepped off the yardage again, then late in the day he notified a tournament rules official, Robert Smith, of his concern.

Page 2 of 2 --By now, Wie was well into her fourth round, but after she had signed for a 74 Sunday to apparently finish fourth and earn $53,126, Smith -- after being approached by Bamberger -- brought her back to the seventh hole. After an investigation that took more than 90 minutes, Smith ruled that Wie had dropped closer to the hole, perhaps by 12-18 inches. That's a two-shot penalty, but since Wie didn't know of the infraction, she obviously didn't tack on the shots, and that led to her signing an incorrect scorecard on Saturday.

Goodbye cash, hello disqualification, and let the debate begin.

Did Bamberger overstep his boundaries and violate an unwritten, but absolute rule of our profession (report the news, don't make it)? In a game devoid of umpires, referees, and line judges, is it OK for patrons, television viewers, and even journalists to get involved and play rules official? Bamberger has received plenty of criticism and enough support to tell you there's strong sentiment on both sides, but from where I sit, he was wrong -- not to question Wie's drop, because I respect his intentions, but to be so slow in calling it that it resulted in disqualification. He crossed the line from reporting the news to making the news, and that's disturbing.

During the entire episode, phrases such as ''the integrity of the game" and ''protecting the field" were bandied about, and PGA Tour player Brad Faxon, for one, came away disappointed. ''Those are crutches," said Faxon. ''This waiting a day was wrong."

Faxon wasn't the only player who said he felt Bamberger made a terrible mistake by waiting so long, and thus brought DQ into the equation. ''That's too severe a penalty for what happened, and he knows better than that," said Faxon.

I agree.

I was bothered more by Park's inaction. It is her job -- not mine, not Bamberger's -- to ''protect the field," as they say, and had she done the professional thing and walked over to approve or disapprove of Wie's drop, this mess could have been avoided. But Park stayed on the green, some 30 yards away, and simply acknowledged that it was OK with her that Wie was taking an unplayable.

Bamberger said he delayed because he was trying to be sure, but this wasn't a murder case in which 12 jurors had to agree; he simply had to get one rules official to take a look. I'm convinced that within an hour of the incident, Bamberger could have had Smith do just that. It would have been the prudent route to take. Wie more than likely would have been penalized, as she probably deserved to be, but not disqualified, which she should not have been.

Heck, Bamberger could have even gone and written the story (SI editors chose not to run his first-person account) and not turned into the story.

10/20/05 @ 09:43
Comment from: Ho-J [Visitor]

I agree with your analysis. That's exactly what I think happened. Bamberger was in "angry" mode.

Still lingering in my mind is that even Michelle could not pinpoint where she dropped the ball. Thus, LPGA official's review should have resulted in "inconlusive", period.
10/20/05 @ 10:00
Comment from: Shanks [Visitor]
Great article from McCabe. I don't pretend know what the etiquette of golf journalism is. But he should've either said something to a rules official promptly or not at all. Justice delayed is justice denied.
10/20/05 @ 10:41
Comment from: John [Visitor]
An interesting link to an article quoting Greg Moir, Assistant Secretary of Rules, Royal and Ancient Society of Golf. For those of you non-golfers, The R&A are the Keepers of the Rules of Golf...that is to say this is a quote from the Assistant to the Pope when it come to things Golfish...

10/20/05 @ 23:16
Comment from: Anne [Visitor]
This is a posting of the abovementioned URL for those self-appointed golf experts on Bamberger's action and Michelle Wie's DQ.

I wouldn't categorize the R&A as uneducated about the game of golf.
R&A loath to drop Wie in it over disqualification
by Lewin Mair

The Royal & Ancient are anxious that no stigma should attach to 16-year-old Michelle Wie following her disqualification from last week's Samsung Championship in Palm Desert, California.

LPGA tournament officials had no option but to disqualify the teenager when a member of the press, Michael Bamberger from Sports Illustrated, delayed in reporting what was an incorrect drop from a bush.
"We feel very strongly that Michelle should not be hung out to dry over this," said Grant Moir, the R & A's assistant secretary of rules. "Those who do not know golf can very easily get the wrong end of the stick when they hear that a player has been disqualified. What Michelle did was not intentional and not a serious breach of the rules.

"If Bamberger had done the right thing in reporting the incident before Michelle had signed her card that day, she would have been given the appropriate penalty of two shots and there would have been no mention of disqualification."

Moir said that even the most experienced of golfers can make a mistake as he tries to judge equidistant points when taking the kind of drop Wie was forced to take at the seventh hole on the Canyons course at Bighorn. "Often, when we are overseeing this particular ruling and the player is measuring his two club lengths, we have to point out that he is either getting closer to the hole or that he is going far further away than he needs to," he said.

"Michelle," he continued, "thought she knew what she was doing and went ahead with the drop on her own. At her first attempt, she thought she had dropped closer and so she dropped again, which tells its own story as to how she was attempting to get it right."

More than anything, the R & A were "frustrated" with Bamberger's handling of events. "If he felt at the time that he had witnessed a breach and was sufficiently sure of himself to raise it, he should have found an official at once.

"He should have known just how serious it would be for Michelle if he hung on to the information until the following day."
10/21/05 @ 01:00
Comment from: Shanks [Visitor]
Not uneducated??? Too funny, Anne!
10/21/05 @ 13:34
Comment from: mal [Visitor]
The officials rules on facts. How can this happen when no one knows the exact placement of the ball 24 hours later. To use the string to figure she had dropped 12 inches closer to the hole is invalid because of the ball placement would have incorrect.
10/22/05 @ 05:17
Comment from: adam smith [Visitor]
Thanks for writing an article that puts the whole Bamberger act of opportunism in perspective. Great job! You are a true journalist in the best sense of the word. Bamberger is more on par with Clayton Williams, who would have probably been elected governor of Texas had he treated Ann Richards with appropriate respect. Some even believe that Clayton Williams would have been elected to the White House as the surrogate for J. R. Ewing, rather than George W. Bush, had William apologized appropriately to Governor Richards.

As we say in Texas, Banberger's popularity is so low he couldn't get elected as dog catcher in our state right now.
04/18/06 @ 17:30

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