Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Baddeley's Bad Drop

The famous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass has not been kind to American Australian golfer, Aaron Baddeley (he has joint US and Australian citizenship). Even before his second round at The Players Championship on Friday, he had put more balls in the water on the island green 17th in previous events than any other player in the field. He then put two more in the water on Friday, bringing his career total to 10. However, this was not the end of it, as when dropping a ball in the drop zone for the second time he was far too casual and did not meet the requirements for a valid drop. From Rule 20-2;
A ball to be dropped under the Rules must be dropped by the player himself. He must stand erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length and drop it. If a ball is dropped by any other person or in any other manner and the error is not corrected as provided in Rule 20-6, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.
From the photo above, you can see why the officials called Baddeley on this Rules infraction. Once again, the post-round comments by a professional golfer, following a Rules infraction, are revealing;
“It was a little bit bent instead of straight, which was like 4 or 5 inches difference. I wasn’t stressed. I knew I was missing the cut. I didn’t know that Rule. I didn’t know your arm had to be perfectly straight. I made sure it was shoulder height when I dropped it. That’s what I was thinking.”
If only Aaron Baddeley was a regular reader of my weekly blogs he would have known better! This is a link to a similar breach by Sun Young Yoo that I wrote about in 2012.

Sergio Garcia Didn’t Hole Out.

Some of you who watched to the end of The Players Championship may have wondered whether Sergio Garcia should have been disqualified for not holing out, after missing his birdie putt on the 18th, the final hole of the 3-hole aggregate playoff, when he realised that he could not match the -1 totals of Ricky Fowler and Kevin Kisner. Decision 3/1 provides the answer;

Q. A competitor in a stroke-play play-off incurs a penalty of disqualification. Does the disqualification apply to the play-off only or to the entire competition?

A. The disqualification applies only to the play-off.
So, Sergio did not forfeit his $880,000 prize money, for equal second place, the same as Kevin Kisner, who subsequently lost out to Rickie Fowler’s birdie on the fourth play-off hole.

Good golfing,


Good news! My book '999 Updated Questions on the Rules of Golf 2014-2015' is available as a hard copy again. More information in next week's blog.
The above content is strictly copyright to Barry Rhodes © 2015 and may not be copied without permission.


tonyzed said...

So how many years has he been playing? Is this the first drop he has ever done? Is this the first drop he has done in front of the Rule Official? This of course is how he drops when he's with his mates, who don't know either. Slightly bent? What a load of cobblers!

Unknown said...

It's astonishing how many golfers who play the game for a living are seemingly ignorant of the most basic of rules

Anonymous said...

What should a player do if some physical obstructions like trees and bushes interfere the player from taking a proper drop. Can a player bend down or bend the arm and drop a ball in these circumstances?

Barry Rhodes said...


A player may not bend down or bend their arm to drop a ball under the Rules. To avoid incurring a penalty the person must stand erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length and drop it. Decision 20-2c/1.3 is relevant to your question;

Q.A player drops a ball within the area prescribed by the applicable Rule. It bounces off a tree branch and as a result strikes the ground outside that area. What is the ruling?

A.The ball struck a part of the course (the branch) where the applicable Rule requires (Rule 20-2b). Therefore, provided it does not roll into any of the positions listed in Rule 20-2c, it is in play and must not be re-dropped. In measuring the two club-lengths to determine if a re-drop is required under Rule 20-2c(vi), the point on the ground immediately below the spot where the ball first struck a part of the course (the branch) shall be used for measuring purposes.