Should Webb Simpson Have Been Penalized?

Webb Simpson lost to Bubba Watson in the final round of the Zurich Classic. It should never have gotten to that point.

If you caught the final round of the Zurich Classic on Sunday, you saw the best and worst of PGA Tour golf. It doesn't get better than a playoff. Man against man, drawing on whatever adrenaline they've got left after four days and 72 holes of top-caliber golf.

What's ironic, though, is it never should have come to that.

Raleigh-native and former Wake Forest All-American Webb Simpson was penalized on the 15th green for moving his ball back after it shifted about an inch when he addressed it. He had to replace the ball back to its original position, incurring a one-stroke penalty.

The heartbreak of it is he didn't hit the ball with his putter. Simpson says the wind, combined with a very dry green, nudged his ball just enough to change position. So in effect, Simpson dropped a shot, which could've won him the tournament, for something he didn't even do.

To be fair, Simpson had his chances after 15. The guy he faced in the playoff, Bubba Watson, holed clutch putts down the stretch. Watson made birdie on the second playoff hole to capture the victory after Simpson missed his chance by just inches.

But those aren't the inches he'll remember most. Five holes earlier he had to move his ball back and take a penalty, a measure the PGA should consider sizing up.

Do you think Webb Simpson should have been penalized?

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  • by zach Location: easley sc gettys middle school on Jan 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM
    no web simpson is 1 of my favorite golfers but he shouldnt of touched it i think he would of still made it even if he didnt touch the ball
  • by Billy Weaver Location: WITN on May 4, 2011 at 01:43 PM
    Great blog topic Chris, thought I would just give my opinion. To answer your question... yes, I think he should have been penalized. Only for the fact that it is a very well known and very "cut and dry" rule. However, if asked "do I disagree with the rule and think it should be changed?" ABSOLUTELY! Players in any sport should be penalized for intentially breaking the rules and this rule should be a judgement call just like some rules in other major sports. Use of video evidence and a rules official's determination of intent should certainly come into play. The bottom line is that it's a shame that a golfer who works so hard over the course of a four day event to get himself into a position to win a tournament is basically stripped of victory because of something completely out of his control. It's hard enough to win tournaments when everything is going your way. Just my "two cents."
    • reply
      by zach on Jan 13, 2012 at 10:14 AM in reply to Billy Weaver
      but i think webb is better than watson

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