USGA, R&A end practice of allowing TV viewers to call in rules violations
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It's about time.

The USGA and R&A announced Monday that there will be new protocols in regards to the rules of golf and video reviews.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, golf's major tours - PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, PGA European Tour, Ladies European Tour, and the PGA of America - have agreed to no longer take calls or emails from viewers who think they have spotted a rules violation. All video reviews will now be handled by one or more tour officials.

"This has clearly become an important issue in the sport that we felt we should address at this stage ahead of the implementation of the updated Rules of Golf in 2019," David Rickman of the R&A said in a statement.

The two governing bodies also announced that a player will no longer receive a two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard when unaware of the rules violation.

"We have concluded that whilst players should continue to be penalized for all breaches of the Rules during a competition, including any that come to light after the score card is returned, an additional penalty for the score card error is not required," added Rickman.

In April, Lexi Thompson suffered a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration when she was informed during Sunday's final round that she was assessed a four-stroke penalty with six holes to go. The infraction occurred in Saturday's third round, but wasn't picked up by rules officials until a TV viewer emailed the LPGA to report the potential penalty.

Thompson - who was leading by two shots at the time - would eventually lose on the first sudden-death playoff hole to So Yeon Ryu.

On Monday, the 22-year-old American applauded the move by the USGA and R&A via her Twitter account:

Each tour will now only value information from other players, caddies, referees, marshals, spectators, and video provided by the broadcast partner when reviewing a possible rules infraction.

USGA, R&A end practice of allowing TV viewers to call in rules violations
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