Michelle Wie makes a good point against the penalty that the Rules officials never asked her why she grounded the club, but officials can't be expected to be everywhere all the time. Reviewing the video replay, there is no doubt that the ruling was correctly made and enforced.
Without the penalty, she would have tied for second so the ruling cost her $90,000 in prize money.
This latest penalty is Michelle Wie's third serious rules breach since she turned pro in October 2005.
We all need to remember that just because your club doesn't get wet doesn't mean that you have avoided a penalty, which still applies if the grounding occurs within the area marked as a hazard.
Michelle Wie has many talents, but a deft touch when it comes to the Rules of Golf is not one of them.
The bad news for Michelle Wie is that the officials didn't give her the benefit of the doubt. The loss (or rather than addition) of two shots cost her a share of second place and $90,000 in prize money.
It’s unlikely Michelle Wie was testing the hitting surface when she grounded her club. But was she trying to maintain her balance, as she claimed later when LPGA rules official Doug Brecht explained the penalty to her.
“It was a violation of the rules of golf and she is to be penalized two shots in this instance,” Brecht told the Golf Channel.
Michelle Wie argued otherwise.
“This is not right,” Michelle Wie complained to Brecht on the course.
After the round, Wie said she knew she had grounded the club but did so stay upright.
“I knew I grounded the club and I asked for a ruling,” Wie told Golf Channel afterward. “My right foot was in mud and I felt like I was off-balance....I knew I was off-balance.”
The penalty video of Michelle Wie is not in youtube yet, you can watch it here for now.
The discussion that followed the penalty is not in the video though. I wish they upload it to youtube later.