Golf Australia

Caddy bunker error costs Lewis in Phoenix

Stacy Lewis and caddy Travis Wilson.
Stacy Lewis and caddy Travis Wilson.

When Stacy Lewis finished her third round on the 18th hole on Saturday at the RR Donnelly Founders Cup, the 2012 Rolex Player of the Year thought that she trailed Rolex Rankings No. 9 Ai Miyazato by two shots heading into Sunday’s final round.

Soon after, Lewis learned that there had been an issue on the 16th hole when she was in a bunker and that a two-stroke penalty might be assessed under Rule 13-4 due to her caddie, Travis Wilson, testing the sand in the bunker.

Lewis, Wilson and two of the LPGA rules officials went to the TV trailer to review the film of the incident and the decision was made to assess the penalty.

“I didn't see Travis do anything when we were playing, I wasn't looking at his feet obviously,” Lewis said. “So we looked at the video and you have to slow it down, zoom in on his foot, he walks into the bunker, he kind of pushes, he kind of bounces his knees a little bit and his foot turns. And that was kind of the big indicators that his foot turned and you could kind of hear the sand crunch a little bit. So that's deemed to be testing the sand.”

“It’s a ruling on intent, so our whole purpose of that shot was to find out how much sand was in the bunker,” she added. “That's the unfortunate part. It looks like he's going in there to see how much sand is in there when that really wasn't what he was trying to do. So more than anything I just feel bad for him because he feels awful, but he's the best caddie out here, so we'll be fine. We still have a chance to win tomorrow, so we'll be okay.”

On arriving in the tournament media centre, Lewis said "It’s too quiet in here – it’s not that sad,” after the media were made aware of her two-stroke penalty.

Victory in the event would give Lewis the world's top ranking with Yani Tseng expected to finish below fourth place.

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