Cejka gets first PGA DQ for using overly big greens guide


Miami (AFP)

Germany's Alex Cejka has become the first player disqualified from a US PGA Tour event for violating a new rule limiting the size of greens-reading materials, making an early exit at the Honda Classic.

The violation was noticed during Thursday's opening round at PGA National and Cejka was stopped on his way to the 15th tee by a rules official.

A new Rules of Golf interpretation limits the size and scale of all materials used to read greens, with Cejka's old greens-reading book found to be too large.

"It was brought to the committee's attention that Alex might possibly be using some old greens reading materials, and so we were obligated to check it out," PGA Tour rules official Robby Ware said.

"Alex was basically using an old yardage book and old green readings material that did not fit the size to scale limit."

The new Rule 4.3 on equipment limits images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to five yards or smaller and greens books can be no larger than 4 1/4 inches by seven inches.

Cejka playing partner Cameron Tringale noticed the German was using an old book, according to Golf Digest, and mentioned it to officials, who studied the book on the 13th hole.

"When we finished the 14th hole, I went to use the bathroom and when I came out I saw (Cejka) riding off in a cart," Tringale told the magazine.

He and fellow American Ryan Palmer finished the final holes together.

The change was among several for 2019 that have caught players for penalties.

Denny McCarthy received a two-shot penalty at the Phoenix Open because his caddie was standing behind him during a practice stroke, now seen as a violation of an alignment rule aimed at denying players any help lining up shots on greens. The penalty was eventually rescinded.

Rickie Fowler received a one-shot penalty at last week's WGC Mexico event after taking a drop from shoulder height as opposed to knee height as required under a new rule.