David Howell gets 2-shot penalty after caddie notices simple infraction


It has to be rough for a caddie to inform his player that a penalty is coming, but that can be part of the job.

Good thing for one looper that his boss is a level-headed David Howell.

The Englishman put up an innocuous performance at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, going 72-76 to miss the cut. This was to be expected, considering this was his first competitive round after two months out with a back injury.

Howell actually put up an opening 72 that could’ve been a nice 2-under 70 if not for a closing double bogey. Still, double bogeys happen … nothing to see here. Except when you look closer.

Howell, 42, took to Twitter on Friday to point out that his new caddie did an honorable thing.

The closing double bogey Thursday actually arose after Howell was hit with a two-shot penalty. As Howell revealed on Twitter, he was penalized for teeing up his ball in front of the tee markers. It was his caddie who noticed, and because he pointed it out after Howell had hit his tee shot at No. 18, it was a two-shot penalty.

That’s a tough thing for a caddie to have to do, and rather than being upset, Howell explained that his looper’s honesty said a lot about him.

Howell also explained how the caddie only noticed after the shot (if he had before, there would’ve been no penalty provided Howell then moved his ball into proper position before hitting).

In case you are wondering, the penalty for teeing it up in front of the tee markers is grounded in Rule 11-4, which states a two-shot penalty in stroke play if a golfer plays a ball from outside the teeing ground.

Howell, a five-time European Tour winner and former Ryder Cupper, hasn’t won on the European Tour since 2013 and is looking to regain the form (or better) that saw him finish runner-up three times in the 2015 season.

We’ll see how that pans out. If Howell pays closer attention to detail, that’ll be a good step on that path.

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