USGA, R&A clarify controversial caddie-alignment rule
After plenty of confusion from players regarding the new caddie-alignment rule in the 2019 update, the USGA and The R&A made a joint announcement to clarify the rule's intent.
The announcement clarified the meaning of a player beginning to take a stance for a stroke, explaining that a golfer can back away from their stance without penalty if the caddie is standing in a position behind the ball, as players backing away from their stance aren't considered to have begun "a stance for the stroke."
Whether or not a caddie is "deliberately" standing behind the ball when the player is taking a stance for a stroke was also clarified. The USGA and The R&A explained that a caddie can only be found to deliberately be standing behind the ball when the player is beginning to take their stance for their stroke and when the caddie is "standing on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the ball."
The clarification of the rule comes after Denny McCarthy was handed a two-stroke penalty during the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open for violating the caddie-alignment rule. The penalty was later rescinded by the PGA Tour.
Here is the video of McCarthy's overturned infraction:
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