Ryan Palmer defends his actions at Sony Open

Ryan Palmer has defended his actions after golf fans blame him for Brendan Steele's downfall at the Sony Open.

Jack Seddon's picture
Tue, 14 Jan 2020
Ryan Palmer defends his actions at Sony Open

The Sony Open was packed with action and drama during the closing stages of Sunday's final round at the Waialae Country Club, which saw Brendan Steele make a crucial mistake at the final hole, allowing Cameron Smith to capitalise and eventually go on to win in a play-off.

Steele made a costly error at the par-5 18th hole, when he hooked his long iron approach shot and failed to get up-and-down for a birdie, which would have won him the tournament, but many golf fans are putting the blame on the man who was in the group in front, Ryan Palmer.

Palmer found himself one behind the lead on the final hole of the tournament, where his tee shot had found a fairway bunker, somewhat 280 yards away from the green.

Knowing that one of the players behind him would be likely to birdie the hole, Palmer pulled out a fairway wood in an attempt to hit the green in two to try and secure a potential eagle and force himself into a play-off.

It was a shot that the 43-year-old PGA Tour veteran had to attempt, but his execution did not go as planned, blocking the shot way right before it took a huge bounce off the scoreboard and into the unknown.

Steele and Smith had already been waiting on the tee for 20 minutes and after taking their tee shots, they would then end up waiting a further 15 due to what happened next.

Palmer felt confident that someone would find his ball, so instead of playing a provisional shot, he made his way up the fairway, but alas, his ball was nowhere to be found.

The American then had to make his way back to the fairway bunker to take the shot again, freezing Steele and Smith for a further 15 minutes, not exactly ideal when you're battling it out for over a million dollars.

After the long wait, Steele and Smith both hit lacklustre second shots, but Smith got up and down out the sand for a birdie, while Steele could only manage a par, forcing the tournament to a play-off, which Smith went on to win.

Following the end of the tournament, Palmer sent out a tweet saying that if the circumstances came around again then he wouldn't hesitate to risk it all with a shot like that once again.

One golf fan responded to Palmer agreeing with him that the shot was a risk worth taking, but criticised him for not taking a provisional and therefore effecting the group behind him.

Palmer defended his actions with another tweet, saying he 'didn't hit their shots' so the blame shouldn't lie with him, which received mixed responses from golf fans.

One fan replied: "Damn right you didn't! Not your fault. It's not like they just took a seat, had a coke and sandwich at the turn and then went out to swing for the first time in years."

While another was disappointed with Palmer's etiquette: "You lost a fan yesterday Ryan. I realize you didn't have to hit a provisional. But you clearly iced the group behind you. Everyone except you knows it. You and Patrick Reed separated at birth."

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