Lucky Rahm escapes another rules controversy
Jon Rahm seems to be making a habit of getting embroiled in rules controversies, only to escape unscathed.
In Thursday's first round at the Open Championship, the talented young Spaniard thought he spotted a loose, three-foot long vine or reed near where his ball came to rest on the par-5 17th.
Rahm pulled the reed away, but then realised it wasn't loose but attached.
“I got there and I thought it was a loose impediment because it looked dead, so I just moved it to the side,” Rahm said. “And that’s when Lee came and he realized it was attached.”
A rules official was called over and Rahm was asked whether his action had improved his lie or not. He was adamant it had not.
Rahm was not cleared immediately. The official tentatively assessed a two-shot penalty, and said a final decision would be made in scoring.
He walked away from the 17th with a double-bogey seven, and at the end of his round he was listed as having shot a one-over 71.
A discussion with chief referee David Rickman followed after his round, however, and Rickman decided that the lie had not been improved, and that Rahm had acted in good faith.
The two-stroke penalty was removed, and Rahm escaped with a 69 that leaves him very much in the hunt.
“The discussion was was it an improvement of the lie or not; that’s it,” Rahm said. “I explained my version of what happened. Unfortunately for me I was the only one who saw it; there were no cameras to back me up. That’s what happened and it was never on my lie, it was never on my line, it was never on my swing path, it was not going to bother my in any way.”
The incident follows another at the Irish Open two weeks ago, where Rahm appeared to move his ball closer to the hole after initially moving it from his playing partner's line.
On that occasion, a rules official determined Rahm used "reasonable judgement" to return the ball to its original spot – despite video evidence appearing to show otherwise.
Rahm admitted it was frustrating to be involved in two successive rules controversies, but insisted he could only tell the truth as he saw it, and leave it to others to decide.
“At the end of the day it’s not my call, honestly,” Rahm said. “I can describe what happened as honestly and truthfully as possible, and as detailed as can happen, and they make the judgment call. it’s up to them. They did say it was a very fine line, but the decision is up to them. I would’ve been fine with whatever. They’re the rules officials; they know the rules better than any of us, and it’s their call. I said the same two weeks ago.”
Ryder Cup golfer Thorbjorn Olesen grabbed woman’s breast on flight, court told
Thorbjorn Olesen is said to have been drinking and taking sleeping pills on the flight from the US to the UK.
Collin Morikawa throws away big lead as Viktor Hovland wins Hero World Challenge
Hovland began the day six shots off the pace but carded a closing 66 at Albany to secure his third title of the season.
Rory McIlroy: Players want to know where they stand amid golf’s power struggle
The Northern Irishman was speaking ahead of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Tiger Woods says he is ‘lucky to be alive’ after crash but has ‘long way to go’
The 45-year-old 15-time major winner was in pain throughout as he addressed his first press conference since February’s crash.
Tiger Woods rules out full-time return to golf after serious car crash
The 45-year-old required surgery on open fractures to his lower right leg after the single-vehicle accident in February.
Lee Elder, the first black player to compete in the Masters, dies aged 87
Elder joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as an honorary starter at Augusta National just over seven months ago.
Suzann Pettersen lands ‘dream’ job as Solheim Cup captain
The Norwegian will be going for a hat-trick of Europe wins after taking over from Catriona Matthew.
Lee Westwood rules himself out of contention for 2023 Ryder Cup captaincy
Westwood says he cannot commit fully to the role while he is still competitive as a player.
Collin Morikawa wins Race to Dubai as Rory McIlroy’s frustrations boil over
The Northern Irishman appeared to rip his shirt open in the recording area behind the 18th green.
Tiger Woods shares footage of him hitting balls as rehab continues
Woods was injured in a car accident in February.