Disqualified because caddy used rangefinder

Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, 20, was asked to leave Pebble Beach after five holes played this Thursday in the first round of the US Women's Open. His caddy was indeed helped by a rangefinder, a tool prohibited by the USGA

by Andrea Gussoni
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Disqualified because caddy used rangefinder

Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, 20, was asked to leave Pebble Beach after five holes played this Thursday in the first round of the US Women's Open. His caddy was indeed helped by a rangefinder, a tool prohibited by the USGA!

Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, history

The dream only lasted five holes.

Time to birdie and concede a bogey. Thailand's Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, 20, whose first participation in a US Open, was disqualified. The cause ? His caddy used a rangefinder during that time. A fatal error because the United States Golf Association (USGA) prohibits this kind of tool at the US Women's Open.

“In the first round, on several occasions, the caddy of Natthakritta Vongtaveelap used a distance measuring device, which is not allowed at the US Women's Open. The first offense is a general penalty. Second offense results in disqualification,” the USGA statement read.

Note that rangefinders were authorized at the last KPMG Women's PGA Championship in Baltusrol (New Jersey). But they are still prohibited at the US Women's Open as well as the AIG Women's British Open. In the spring of 1744, a small group of golfers called the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers approached the Edinburgh City Magistrate to get him to sponsor a prize for a competition they were about to hold.

The aediles agreed to this request by donating a flying trophy in the form of a silver golf club, on the condition that the tournament should be open to as many participants as possible. This naturally implied that written rules of general validity had to be established.

This is how the first 13 rules of golf were born. When the St. Andrews club wanted to organize an open tournament as well in 1754, those responsible for it adopted the 13 aforementioned rules without modification. In 1875 seven more were added and in 1885 it was decided to found a central institution for this sport, and the choice fell on The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R & A), which in 1888 sent a complete regulation to all known clubs.

In 1893, said regulation underwent a considerable reform and already included 40 rules and 14 special provisions, as well as 10 articles on golf etiquette. Around the same time, in 1894, the United States Golf Association (USGA) was created for the United States and Mexico.

Since the regulations in force in England and America diverged, there were often discrepancies, so in 1951 the English and Americans decided to collaborate on the issue of rules and in 1984 they were finally equal.

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