Craig Stadler was invited back 7 years later to cut the tree down where he lost two strokes. The golf course at Torrey Pines was widening the fairway and thought he would like to cut it down.
The one sport where there is a book load of them is golf and not knowing every single one of them has cost many a player a hefty pay check and a trophy. Most of the rules don't apply common sense and taking your time before a shot thinking about everything first can save you a fortune. I have often wondered why players will wait for an official to arrive on the scene and ask some questions before hitting the ball as they are obviously not sure themselves.
One such instance happened to American golfer Craig Stadler in 1987 when he was playing the PGA event at Torrey Pines. He had driven the ball into a group of trees and he had an overlying branch so he couldn't stand and play. The ground was damp as it had been raining so he decided he would place a towel down to kneel on and play from there.
Unbeknown to him this is illegal as rule 13-3/2 stipulates that you are not allowed to build a stance and gain an advantage. By using a towel to kneel on it was judged he had gained an advantage and they didn't care about if it was keeping his trousers dry. Craig Stadler was penalised 2 shots for his actions which seems a little absurd.
Common sense and an eye for detail are required. Like most things in life it is stupid things that cost you at the end of the day.
In the end it didn't really matter as at the end of the round he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Scorecards have cost many player a victory in tournaments as you rely on your opponent to out the correct score down. many players unknowingly have signed for the wrong scores like Roberto De Vicenzo did at the 1969 Masters. His playing partner Tommy Aaron had written a 4 instead of a birdie 3 at the 17th and when Vicenzo signed his card at the end of his round the 4 counted and missed his spot in the play off. he had a famous quote afterwards saying "What a stupid I am".
Lexi Thompson can thank a viewer emailing the officials that cost her the win.
Television has bought sport into our homes around the world and it has cost players dearly. Busy bodies watching from their comfort of their sofas have contacted the PGA many times reporting infractions that they had spotted. Players don't do this on purpose and I think people should just keep quiet. Lexi Thompson was handed a four shot penalty after a viewer emailed the LPGA saying Lexi hadn't place the ball correctly after cleaning and marking it. Lexi went into the playoffs and lost, but those 4 shots cost her dearly and she had gained no advantage.
Golf is hard enough to master and players don't cheat on purpose and if they knew would never have done the things they had done. I believe common sense should be used in some cases as long as there was no advantages gained.