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Golf's ruling bodies move to limit video evidence

  • FILE - In this July 10, 2016, file photo, Anna Nordqvist, of Sweden, walks to the green after hitting out of a bunker on the second playoff hole of the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament at CordeValle, in San Martin, Calif.  Nordqvist was penalized for clipping sand during a bunker shot in the final round. Golf’s ruling bodies issued a new guideline Tuesday that limits the use of video evidence in determining rules violations. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

    FILE - In this July 10, 2016, file photo, Anna Nordqvist, of Sweden, walks to the green after hitting out of a bunker on the second playoff hole of the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament at CordeValle, in San Martin, Calif. Nordqvist was penalized for clipping sand during a bunker shot in the final round. Golf’s ruling bodies issued a new guideline Tuesday that limits the use of video evidence in determining rules violations. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 2, 2017, file photo, Lexi Thompson composes herself on the 18th green during the final round of the LPGA Tour's ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.  Thompson was assessed a 4-shot penalty due to a TV viewer noticing a rules violation. Golf’s ruling bodies issued a new guideline Tuesday that limits the use of video evidence in determining rules violations. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File)

    FILE - In this April 2, 2017, file photo, Lexi Thompson composes herself on the 18th green during the final round of the LPGA Tour's ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Thompson was assessed a 4-shot penalty due to a TV viewer noticing a rules violation. Golf’s ruling bodies issued a new guideline Tuesday that limits the use of video evidence in determining rules violations. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File)  (The Associated Press)

Video evidence of a rules violation no longer means a golfer automatically will be penalized.

In an effort to limit the sometimes harsh result of television reviews, golf's ruling bodies have issued a new decision on the Rules of Golf that takes effect immediately.

Players can avoid a penalty if the violation could not be noticed with the naked eye. Rules officials also will eliminate penalties if they feel players made a reasonable judgment in taking a drop or replacing their golf ball on the putting green.

The new decision would have spared Anna Nordqvist a two-shot penalty that cost her a chance to win the U.S. Women's Open last year. Less clear is whether it would have exonerated Lexi Thompson at the ANA Inspiration this month.