Golf is a weird and wonderful game and, when you think you’ve seen it all, something comes along that makes you question what it is about this sport! At The Players Championship, viewers were treated to two bizarre rules situations just a day apart.
The incidents involve the players Matthias Schwab and Nick Taylor, who both found their golf balls ending up in rather odd places. For Schwab, he somehow found a golf cart that was being used by Sky Sport Austria reporters that were following him, whilst Taylor found a partially hollowed-out wooden piling that surrounds the green.
We begin with Schwab who, on Thursday, pulled his second shot to the par 5 second hole. Bouncing on the cart path, it came to rest in the buggy of three Sky Sport Austria reporters that were following the 28-year-old.
Florian Bauer, one of the journalists on the cart, stated: “The ball jumped from the ground, got into our cart, and then it stayed right in here and then when I looked at the ball, I know the mark, the signing of Matthias Schwab, and I go, ‘Hey, it’s Matthias’ ball’. So it was pretty funny.”
From there, Schwab put a tee underneath the cart where his golf ball was and, under Rule 15.2a(2), he was entitled “relief when (the) ball is in or on movable obstruction anywhere on course except putting green.” It also states: “The player may take free relief by lifting the ball, removing the movable obstruction and dropping the original ball or another ball in this relief area (see Rule 14.3).”
After this, the Austrian dropped the ball, with it somehow coming to rest directly below his hand, a peculiar scenario given he was dropping on concrete. “The craziest part of the Matthias Schwab drop on 2 was when he dropped it on the cart path on a downslope. It hits the ground, starts bouncing and then it comes to rest exactly where he dropped it. It was wizardry. I’ve never seen anything like it,” explained Bauer:
“I mean, I’ve never seen a ball being dropped on a cart path and not run away. But it did. It stayed there.” So, what happened after the drop? Well, Schwab was then given relief from the cart path, under rule 16.1a, with the Austrian ending up with a par after the drama.
That moves us to Taylor who, 24 hours after the drop with Schwab, found his golf ball in an equally strange position, with his bunker shot at the fourth hole hopping over the green and finishing in a hollowed out wooden piling.
With the ball around a foot below ground level, it would be impossible to hit and, after assessing the scenario, the Canadian decided on a drop after calling an unplayable.
After the drop, he found the green, but two putted for a double bogey. In the end, Taylor would miss the two-over-par cut, with the 34-year-old finishing five-over and three shots back of the weekend.