PGA Tour amending rule on incorrect scorecards (aka the Jordan Spieth rule), effective immediately

The PGA Tour is amending its rule on when a scorecard is returned. Call it the Jordan Spieth rule.

As you may recall, Spieth was disqualified from the Genesis Invitational after the second round in February for signing an incorrect scorecard. Spieth, a three-time major winner and member of the Tour’s policy board, signed for a par on the par-3 4th hole at Riviera Country Club, but he made a bogey after missing a 5-foot putt.

As he later admitted, he had to go to the bathroom and so hastily signed his card for one less than the 2-over 73 he actually shot. In the future, he will have 15 minutes to return to the scoring area after he leaves to make a correction.

Across all our tours and other major golf organizations, a player’s scorecard is considered ‘returned’ to the Committee once the player has left the defined scoring area. In an e-mail to players and also available on the player internal web site, the Tour explained to its members that it had been working with the USGA, R&A and DP World Tour to amend this definition, with a goal of minimizing penalties or disqualifications related to scorecard errors.

The Tour announced a 15-minute window “to correct an error on his scorecard, even if he has left the scoring area.”

  • If a scorecard is validated in the scoring system and the player has left the scoring area, he may return to correct an error within 15 minutes of validation.

  • If a player has left the scoring area and an error is identified before the scorecard is validated in the scoring system, he may return to correct the error within 15 minutes of the error being identified by the scoring official.

  • If a player is in the scoring area when the 15 minutes expires, his scorecard is returned when he leaves the scoring area.

“In general, all players will have the ability to correct an error within this 15-minute period which may have previously resulted in disqualification. However, exceptions may apply when constraints within the competition limit a player’s correction time to less than 15 minutes, such as releasing tee times following the cut, starting a playoff, or the close of competition.”

The rule change is going into effect immediately on all PGA Tour sanctioned circuits as well as on the DP World Tour. Count Tour pro Michael Kim as a fan of the change: “I think it is way better this way,” he wrote on the social-media platform X. “Hopefully no more scorecard DQ’s in the future.”

It’s an antiquated rule that was overdue to be revised, but did it go far enough? Tour pro Andrew Putnam would say no.

“Such a dumb rule,” he wrote on X. “In what other sport do players keep their scores? We all have walking scorers with every group and every shot is calculated to the yard. Cmonnn [sic] people.”

The most famous penalty for a scorecard error belongs to Roberto De Vicenzo, who missed out on a playoff with Bob Goalby to settle the 1968 Masters. The likelihood of another “What a stupid I am!” moment has been diminished greatly thanks to this rule amendment.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek