Golf fans have been debating the legality of how Rose Zhang took a drop en route to winning the Mizuho Americas Open on her LPGA Tour pro debut.
She also becomes the first player to win an NCAA division one individual title and an LPGA Tour event in the same year.
But there was one controversial moment.
While we are taking nothing away from her maiden pro win here at GolfMagic, it would seem there are a number of golf fans out there on social media who are angered by how Zhang went about taking a drop in the rough in the final round.
It surrounded the way Zhang bent down and then dropped her ball from 'knee-height' as per the USGA's recent new procedure for dropping a golf ball.
Previously, as many of you will know out on the golf course, players would take a drop from 'shoulder-height'.
But that is no longer the case. You have to drop the ball from the height of your knees.
We'll let you debate if this drop was really from the height of Zhang's knees:
Here's what a number of golf fans think.
There was a fairly mixed response:
We hear regularly about golf being a game of rules and etiquette etc etc— Golf Lover UK (@GolfloverUK) June 5, 2023
So why on earth are the powers that be so unwilling to enforce rules. This is cheating! Plain and simple!
Should have been assessed and penalised - also why is she doing it, play by the rules! https://t.co/EfMeP3LjSR
saw that live at time— russell jones (@russelljones25) June 4, 2023
why bend knee`s ??
that is almost placing
I saw this drop live and thought to myself did anybody else think that was a bit low? Confirmed. Still think she’s great but a drop from knee height may have sunk the ball deeper in that lettuce. She might wanna watch this and make adjustments next time.— Michael T (@Swingthing52) June 5, 2023
Listen, I’m not saying the legitimacy of all of her individual and team wins at Stanford should now be called into question, too. That’s for others to decide.— duffer (@desertdufferLLG) June 5, 2023
The rule says the ball should be dropped from “the height of the player’s knee when in a standing position,” so yeah, hard to tell when you decide to squat for some reason (and STILL drop it from lower than your knee in that position).— duffer (@desertdufferLLG) June 4, 2023
Yeah it’s an inch lower than her knee. Congrats! Great job mr miserable.— Mark Tringali (@jaybirdjason11) June 5, 2023
No way its above knee height if she was standing straight up. Imagine the uproar if it was Patrick Reed.— Pat D (@pjd763) June 5, 2023
It’s hard to believe that the @USGA came up with such an awkward solution after so much thought..— Todd Bailey, PGA (@ToddABailey) June 5, 2023
Golf rules anoraks watching on TV and grassing up players make me want to .— Snap!Media (@SnapMediaCo) June 5, 2023
It's a joke .— Ivan V (@Lyr79879769Lyr) June 4, 2023
I saw Rory do it in a pga tour event and nothing said
Definitely why she wins so much.— Pcfire (@Pcfire222) June 5, 2023
this is a rules violation.— LostRaceOfMars (@qed57) June 5, 2023
Tell me you are the next door Karen without saying you are the next door Karen.......— Pedro52 (@codyhamilton8) June 5, 2023
Here's the knee-height rule in full as per the USGA Rule hand book:
New Rule: Players continue to drop a ball when taking relief, but the dropping procedure is changed in several ways as detailed in Rule 14.3:
- How a ball may be dropped is simplified; the only requirement is that the ball be let go from knee height so that it falls through the air and does not touch any part of the player’s body or equipment before it hits the ground.
Reasons for Change:
The new procedure lowers the height from which the ball is dropped to increase the chance that it stays within the relief area.
Requiring the player to drop a ball (as opposed to placing it) retains a desired randomness about where the ball ends up:
- The player has no guarantee that the ball will come to rest on a desired spot or in a good lie.
- This is especially the case when a ball is dropped in more difficult conditions such as thick rough or longer grass.
Allowing the player to drop a ball from knee height helps to limit the extent to which a ball will embed in sand in a bunker.
What do you make of Zhang's drop? What do you make of the 'knee-height' rule in general for dropping a golf ball? Was there any need to change the rule in the first place? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.