Haotong Li was penalized two strokes for having his caddie assist in lining up his putt on the final hole of the Dubai Desert Classic. The penalty dropped him from T-3 to T-12 and cost him around $100,000 in prize money. Fellow players jumped to Li’s defense on social media, criticizing the ruling.
Shocking – especially given they were timing Bryson on a calendar by the end
— Graeme McDowell (@gmcd3) January 27, 2019
After 2 weeks of golf in the @EuropeanTour i toke one thing in clear… the @RandA and @usga have to check those new 2019 golf rules… my Chinese brother @haotong_li didnt deserve that penalty on the 72nd… the line is to thin… 🧐
— Pablo Larrazabal (@plarrazabal) January 28, 2019
This is so ridiculously marginal. The player should be given the benefit of the doubt. The rule changes are largely about the spirit of the game & player integrity not this pedanticness…. https://t.co/BAgufWzRhi
— Paul McGinley (@mcginleygolf) January 27, 2019
Hard to believe @haotong_li has been penalised for this. Frankly, I think it’s a shockingly bad decision and for the life of me I cannot see how Mike has lined Haotong up here 🤷🏼♂️. https://t.co/cJ4OZZbRKk
— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) January 28, 2019
Just watched @haotong_li and the 2 shot penalty … total farce … has made the game look stupid .. 👎👎👎…. #Rubbish
— Dick fulchers lad (@Fooch1993) January 27, 2019
Awful decision as caddie has walked away before putter even behind the ball or player has taken his stance Feel sorry for the caddie as he will be gutted, how about @EuropeanTour officials start enforcing the rules on slow play which is killing the game, painful to watch today https://t.co/RN02ZQm9ya
— Paul Lawrie (@PaulLawriegolf) January 27, 2019
I hope John Paramor from @EuropeanTour comes out publicly & explains the ludicrous decision to penalise @haotong_li yesterday. Clearly the caddie has not lined him up! So where is the breach of rules!
Some of the these rules changes are making a farce of this great game
— Richard Bland (@blandy73) January 28, 2019
— Robert Damron (@RobertDDamron) January 27, 2019
Ridiculous to say that’s alignment. Sorry
— Matt Wallace (@mattsjwallace) January 27, 2019
You can clearly see Mike has already starting to walk off and not look down the line as Haotong takes his address position. Think this is extremely harsh. And yet slow play still carries on 🤔.
— Ross Fisher (@RossFisher) January 28, 2019