Lee Ann Walker receives 58 penalty strokes at Senior LPGA

Rick Sharp

Lee Ann Walker receives 58 penalty strokes at Senior LPGA

Golf

Lee Ann Walker receives 58 penalty strokes at Senior LPGA

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FRENCH LICK, Ind. – Lee Ann Walker might make her way into the Guinness World Records, though not in a way she could ever imagine.

In one of the most drastic penalty situations in golf, Walker was assessed 58 penalty strokes for repeatedly having her caddie line her up on the putting surface at the Pete Dye Course.

Walker shot 127-90 in her Senior LPGA Championship debut at French Lick Resort.

SCORES: Senior LPGA Championship

“This may be my claim to fame,” said Walker, a 47-year-old who works in real estate in Southport, North Carolina. “Not exactly how I was looking to do it.”

Walker’s playing partners, Laura Baugh and Laura Shanahan-Rowe, brought the infraction to Walker’s attention on the 14th hole (her fifth) of the second round. Walker immediately called over a rules official to explain the situation.

Earlier this year, the USGA and R&A implemented a change that prohibited caddies from lining up a player on the putting surface under Rule 10.2b.

Lee Anne Walker’s adjusted scorecard from her first round at the 2019 Senior LPGA Championship. Source: lpga.com

“This is my first competitive round since 2011 or 2012,” said Walker, of her last time on the LPGA. “Now that I don’t play the LPGA anymore, I don’t watch golf. I knew there were rules changes. I just honestly didn’t know ’em. Just plain and simple. My stupidity for not going over the rules changes.”

The rules officials told Walker to keep playing while they discussed the situation. As Walker made the turn, she was informed that she would not be disqualified because she didn’t know that she had broken a rule when she signed her scorecard after the first round.

After she completed the second round, LPGA rules official Marty Robinson said they had her recreate the times that her caddie lined her up.

Walker incurred a two-stroke penalty for each time it happened, adding 42 strokes to her opening score of 85 on Monday and 16 additional strokes to her second-round score on Tuesday.

“I wasn’t mad; I wasn’t upset,” said Walker. “I was just like, that’s going to add a ton to my scores. At that point what can you do? Obviously, it’s my fault for not knowing the rules, but what am I going to do?”

Walker was not disqualified from the competition because Rule 3.3b states that a player is not disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard for failing to include “one or more penalty strokes that the player did not know about before returning the scorecard.”

Walker played her next 13 holes in 1 over after she found out she’d be “shooting a million.”

Will she come back to French Lick?

“Oh, I would love to,” she said. “Now I know that rule.”

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