Dave Andrews says he is not a snitch.
He's not an expert on the rules of golf, either.
Andrews is a self-described golf nut who plays about 150 rounds a year. He happened to be watching the opening round of the Tournament of Champions with a couple of friends in Daytona Beach, Fla., when they saw Camilo Villegas flick away some loose pieces of grass as his ball was rolling down a slope back toward his divot on the 15th hole at Kapalua.
Something didn't look right, and so began an inquiry that made its way across the Pacific.
"I guess it was me who caused all this uproar," Andrews said by phone Saturday.
Andrews knows enough of the rules from the golf he plays, including club competitions in New Hampshire. But he doesn't keep a copy of the rules book with him, so when one of his friends thought Villegas had done something wrong, they went to the USGA's website and found Rule 23-1: "When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed."
"By then, he probably had a half-hour left to play before he signs his card," Andrews said.
A television viewer calling in an apparent rules violation is nothing new, and neither is the outrage that follows over a fan being allowed to report a violation. What was unique about this case was instead of a phone call, the inquiry was through Twitter.
In most cases - Villegas was no different - the violation is learned after players sign their card and they are disqualified for signing for an incorrect score.
Andrews gave it his best shot.
He didn't know who to call, and he's not alone in that. Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter were among players who said they wouldn't know who to call if they saw an infraction.
"When I wrote in, it was with the best of intentions," Andrews said. "I'm no stickler on the rules. I was stunned that nobody had seen it before and decided to write in a tweet. I thought the Golf Channel would have seen it, because they showed a replay. ... I can understand how it does slip someone's attention."
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