Several new rules were implemented this year by the USGA in an effort to speed up the game and bring it back to where players are less reliant on things like green-reading books.
Some of these new rules have been met with much consternation from PGA Tour pros, among them the new the knee-height requirement for dropping a ball. Right, Rickie Fowler?
Another one of those new rules causing controversy is the prohibition of caddies standing behind players. This particular rule change came into play this past weekend when Adam Schenk received a two-stroke penalty for just such a thing at the Honda Classic.
2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year Justin Thomas wasn’t having it and expressed his dismay on Twitter.
Well, the USGA wasn’t going to stand idly by and just take that. No, sir. So they fired back with this message that sounds more like it was meant to be sent in a direct message than an actual public tweet.
“Justin, we need to talk. You’ve cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.”
Justin, we need to talk. You’ve cancelled every meeting we’ve planned with you, but we are reaching out again. We were at the first 5 events, and tournaments last year, and your tour has had a seat at the table for 7 years. We’d love nothing more than to give you a seat. Call us.— USGA PR (@USGA_PR) March 2, 2019
Someone’s salty. And Thomas says it’s just not true, saying, “It was a little upsetting just because it was inaccurate. I haven’t canceled anything, especially any meetings, but it is what it is. All I want is the best for the game of golf and the best for the sport, and that’s what we’re going to continue to try to communicate with each other to get that.”
The USGA later backtracked, pretty hard, after Thomas claimed he had no idea what they were talking about.
Justin, thanks for connecting with us offline. We look forward to meeting with you and talking through these issues. It's clear we both want to do what's right by the game.— USGA PR (@USGA_PR) March 3, 2019
Then on Tuesday, the USGA basically issued a full retraction.
After further and more direct conversations with @JustinThomas34, we realize he did not avoid a discussion with the USGA nor cancel any meetings. We value his and all players’ opinions and are committed to a productive dialogue as the golf world adjusts to the modernized rules.— USGA PR (@USGA_PR) March 5, 2019
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