Haotong Li gets 2-shot penalty, loses out on top 10 finish due to caddie alignment

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Haotong Li gets 2-shot penalty, loses out on top 10 finish due to caddie alignment

If you thought the new Rules of Golf released on Jan. 1 were going to make the game simpler and stop controversial rulings, then think again.

Just ask China’s Haotong Li.

Li became the first player to be penalized under the rule which prohibit caddies from standing on or close to an extension of the line of play.

Li was handed a two-shot penalty Sunday at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic when caddie Mike Burrow was adjudged to have breached rule 10.3b(3) while Li was putting on the 18th green.

The Chinese player was defending the title he won last year. He holed a three-foot putt on the final green for what he assumed was a birdie and a 1-under 71 to finish in a five-way tie for third along with Sergio Garcia, Alvaro Quiros, Ian Poulter and Paul Waring.

He was told of the infraction when he left the 18th green and was handed a two-shot penalty. It turned his birdie into a bogey and his 71 became a 73. He dropped into a tie for 12th.

Rule 10.3b(3) states that a caddie cannot “Deliberately stand on or close to an extension of the line of play behind the player’s ball when the player begins taking a stance for the stroke and until the stroke is made (Rule 10.2b(4).”

The ruling cost Li just under $98,000 in prize money.

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