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Harrington, Bjorn come to defense of rule changes


After yet another week of rules controversies, PGA Tour players continue to take to social media to show their disdain for some of the changes to the Rules of Golf.

Patton Kizzire, in reference to Adam Schenk becoming the latest victim of the caddie-alignment rule: “Great rule. Said no one ever.”

Andrew Landry called the new rules “garbage.”

And Justin Thomas spent much of his Friday evening ranting on Twitter, prompting the USGA’s PR account to tweet back, “Justin, we need to talk.”

But it appears not every pro golfer shares those strong feelings.

Padraig Harrington and Thomas Bjorn came to the defense of the USGA and the R&A, both saying that the rule changes were made with input from players.

“In defence of @USGA / @RandA. The rule on aligning up a player is a modification of an old rule, a caddie can’t stand directly behind a player as he’s hitting. This amendment being one of around 20 changes has come about with extensive input from our tournament referees and players,” tweeted Harrington.

Added Bjorn, in a series of tweets:

  • “The pro game doing their own rules would have a massive effect on how kids play the game. Kids imitate pros.... I think it’s incorrect to say that pros loathe the governing bodies. We sometimes disagree with them! We should be careful with how we go forward.”
  • “I hate seeing caddies aligning players. Is that why you practice. If the rule states you can’t stand behind your player, why do it?”
  • “Interesting that @RandA and @USGA are coming in for so much criticism from players and caddies. Players from all over the world was asked their opinions about which rules should change, so was the tour refs and officials. I for one think they listened!!”

Let the debate continue.