Camilo Villegas was disqualified from a Professional Golf Association Tournament of Champions match in Kapalula after a viewer spotted him removing some loose grass from the course and notified officials, The New York Times reported.
"An armchair official tweeted in to get Camilo DQ'd," Britain's Ian Poulter said in a posting on Twitter. "What is wrong with people? Have they got nothing better to do? Yes the rules are the rules. It was a mistake on Camilo's behalf. He didn't know he had done wrong, but people calling in? No one likes a snitch."
Dave Andrews, who was watching the action on television in Daytona Beach, Fla., spotted the infraction, checked the rules on the U.S. Golf Association's Web site and sent Twitter messages to the PGA and the Golf Channel.
Such an infraction normally incurs a two-shot penalty, the newspaper said. But because Villegas completed his round before the violation was confirmed by the PGA Friday, he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
South African professional golfer Ernie Els suggested the introduction of a deadline after which golfers wouldn't be disqualified from a tournament.
"If it's a rules violation, it should be dealt with," Els said. "Should there be a deadline? If you sign your card, it's done and you can't do anything about it. If somebody wants to call in, you've got to do it before we are done playing."