Heritage Heroics: Winners Are Snedeker, Furyk and the Rules

Mike RoozenContributor IIApril 24, 2011

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC - APRIL 24:  Brandt Snedeker reacts to a putt on the 18th hole during the final round of The Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 24, 2011 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For Luke Donald, the Heritage Classic did not end with him No. 1 in the world and FedEx cup rankings, not to mention holding the winning check.

He could have taken care of all that with a birdie instead of a par on 15 when he only had a few feet to roll the ball into a one-shot lead walk in, but he did not.

As for Snedeker, he turned his unusual putting style into a secret weapon, as if he was the world number-one in that category, instead of it being the one No. 1 title Donald does hold.

As is usually the case in playoffs, it wasn't so much that Snedeker played well, but rather that Donald played mediocre at best, and kept putting himself in places where recovery for a tie was his only chance. 

Lee Trevino once said that there were two things in life that didn't last long, "Dogs who chase cars, and golfers who putt for pars."

Anyway, while all that got sorted out between the blond in the pink pants and the blond in the white pants, Jim Furyk won a great new level of appreciation from golf fans everywhere a few holes earlier, when he blew the whistle on himself for almost moving the ball while grounding his putter in the fringe.

Even Furyk's caddy, the venerable Fluff Cowan, looked at him like he thought he was going mad when Jim started suggesting his ball might have moved when he grounded his putter, for a shot from off the green.

Fluff actually looped for Tiger Woods when he made his pro debut at the Greater Milwaukee Open, but that's another story.

In any event, one of those interminable potential-rules-infraction moments started to drag on as Furyk enlisted the help of an official and they went over to Jim's ball to discuss the possible event that might have taken place.

When all was said and done, it turned out that Jim had made his ball oscillate, not move, when he grounded his putter, so he hadn't committed the violation he would have if the ball had actually moved.

The difference, apparently between him getting a penalty for an infraction or not, was the fact that the ball, even though it moved, had then rocked back into place.

Had it moved and stayed in a new position, Jim would have been in violation of the rule.

The point is simply that Furyk won by calling himself on the potential violation and so did The Rules of Golf, because they were strictly adhered to and took precedence over the fate of an individual player. 

It's what makes sports, and golf in particular, so excellent. You can't lie your way to victory, nor would anyone ever try.

So congratulations to Brandt Snedeker, Jim Furyk, The Rules of Golf and The Truthall winners today on Easter Sunday.