Although there have been some reports that the hazard margin was poorly marked on the par-3, island green 13th hole at the 2013 Kolon Korean Open, it seems that this was not relevant to the ruling, as Kim was adamant that he had not grounded his club anyway. The ruling was originally made by the officials as Kim stood on the 17th tee, thinking that he held a two shot lead. He was deemed to have grounded a club in the area defined as a water hazard on the 13th hole. However, after the round was completed he returned to the scene and pleaded his case with officials for over an hour and twenty minutes. The Korean Golf Association Rules Committee apparently took the unusual step of taking a vote after viewing the available TV evidence and by a split vote of five against three, ruled that Kim had breached Rule 13-4, incurring a penalty of two strokes.
This is what Decision 13-4/8 states re grounding a club;
Q. If a player's ball lies in a water hazard, when is his club in tall grass considered to be touching the ground in the water hazard, in breach of Rule 13-4b?Now have a look at the admittedly limited video evidence of the incident. The only clip that I can find is at 5 mins 9 secs on the official event, final day highlights video, which many observers think is inconclusive. Unfortunately, the clip is edited away to the trophy ceremony at the crucial moment. Remember, that a player may touch growing grass in the hazard during a practice swing, but they must not ground their club.
A. When the grass is compressed to the point where it will support the weight of the club (i.e., when the club is grounded).
The two stroke penalty meant that Kim Hyung-tai lost the Korean Open title by one stroke to his good friend Kang Sung-hoon, finishing tied for 2nd place along with Rory McIlroy and three other Korean golfers.
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