The two-time European Tour winner was penalised two strokes after his caddie was deemed to have lined him up over a putt


Haotong Li Penalty Leaves Tour Pros Fuming

The new Rules of Golf have been in force for a few weeks now and we witnessed the first high-profile penalty on Tour this weekend.

Perhaps one of the lesser publicised Rules, because it doesn’t apply to club golfers, is that caddies are no longer allowed to line up their players.

Well, Haotong Li’s caddie was deemed to have lined his player up over a putt on the 18th hole during the Dubai Desert Classic and it cost the defending champion two strokes and around €100,000.

It dropped him from T3rd down to T12th.

The two-time European Tour winner had a short birdie putt on the last hole (which he made) and his caddie was behind him appearing to be helping out with reading the putt.

However, by the time Li had taken his stance and address position over the putt, his caddie had moved away.

Li’s caddie has walked away after he has taken a stance (Twitter: @Brijon5555)

It is certainly unclear whether he was lining up his man or just simply taking a look at the line of the putt.

Watch the video below:

The penalty has angered many on social media, including Li’s fellow Tour Pros Eddie Pepperell, Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Pablo Larrazabal and more.

British Masters champion Eddie Pepperell tweeted: 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.”

It was Rule 10.2.B that ultimately cost Haotong Li, here is what it states –

A player may have his or her line of play pointed out by:

  • Having his or her caddie or any other person stand on or close to the player’s line of play to show where it is, but that person must move away before the stroke is made.

Do you feel Haotong Li’s penalty was harsh or do you see how his caddie could have been seen as lining him up?

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