- The Washington Times - Monday, May 2, 2011

Webb Simpson called it a “bad rule.” He was penalized a stroke because the ball moved as he was addressing it on the green, costing him one stroke and perhaps his first PGA Tour victory.

The U.S. Golf Association appears to agree. Vice President Thomas O’Toole said Monday there will be talks to modify the rule, with any change taking place at the start of 2012.

“If some other agency - wind or gravity - is known to cause that ball to move, no penalty would be applied,” O’Toole said at the U.S. Open media day at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.

Simpson, leading by one shot, was less than a foot from the cup at the 15th hole Sunday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans when the ball moved. Simpson said it was probably caused by wind, combined with relatively dry and hard greens.

Regardless, the rule as written offers no leeway, and the one-stroke penalty proved vital when he finished tied with Bubba Watson after 72 holes. Watson then won in a playoff.

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