The USGA and R&A have announced some rule changes in golf. One of those changes could have made a world of difference for Jeff Maggert if it had been made five years earlier.
On Wednesday, golfs governing bodies announced that they have amended 28 of the 34 rules starting in 2008, with a few of them being quite significant changes. The big news is the change regarding the revision of rule 19-2, the rule which penalized Maggert two strokes in the final round of the 2003 Masters, a penalty that he was never able to recover from. When a ball deflects off of a player, as happened to Maggert five years ago when his fairway bunker shot hit off the lip and deflected into his chest. The penalty is now reduced to one negative stroke.
– Rule 12-2, which allows a player to lift a ball in the bunker or a water hazard for identification purposes.
– Rule 4-1, which reduces the penalty for carrying — but not using — a non-conforming club from disqualification to two strokes per hole, with a maximum penalty of four strokes per round. In match play, the penalty is loss of hole with a maximum of two holes per round.