Rules are the cornerstone of any nutritious golf tournament. So when a golf fan called out Larry Mize for an incident way back in 1987, the golf world stopped and listened.
The incident involves none other than Greg Norman, the preeminent choker who was robbed of a green jacket in 1996, a tournament where the Aussie crashed out in spectacular fashion.
He is perhaps one of the best golfers in the modern era to have never won a Masters. He even got sympathy from the eventual winner, a man know for his uncompromising competitiveness:
“I had sympathy for him and I don’t think I’d felt that before about someone I’d beaten. I just wanted to grab him and hold him tight because I didn’t know what to say.”
Norman finished in the top 10 on 9 occasions, making his famous self-combustion even harder to stomach. That is until now…
1987: Setting the scene
Norman finished runner-up in 1987 to one of the most famous shots in Masters history. But a recent video is suggesting Larry Mize should have never been in the playoff to start with. It would appear Mize performed an illegal drop on the 15th hole, a mistake that carries a one shot penalty.
“A ball to be dropped under the Rules must be dropped by the player himself,” Law 20, section 2, of the laws of golf states.
“He must stand erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm’s length and drop it. If a ball is dropped by any other person or in any other manner and the error is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.”
We think you should judge for yourself:
Golf is the only sport in the world where a television viewer can enforce the sport’s. Who remembers when an eagle eyed viewer busted Craig Stadler for improving his lie during the 1984 Andy Williams Open?
The problem is of course that this golf fan is nearly 30 years too late to make a difference. Golfers have been done for a lot less; the fact that players own up to a ball moving on address is a credit to our sport. We are the epitome of “rules are rules”, so does our black and white approach mean Larry got it wrong?