McDowell latest penalty victim

Another week, another overly-officious rule

Andy Roberts's picture
Golfmagic Tour
Fri, 7 Sep 2012

McDowell latest penalty victim

Graeme McDowell hasn’t had much luck when it comes to the final hole of his first round in a BMW-sponsored tournament this season.

The 33-year-old Ulsterman, who received a two-shot penalty for causing his ball to move in the right-hand trees of the 18th during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, once again fell foul of golf’s overly-officious rules at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick yesterday.

After holing out for a sensational eagle-two at the par-4 eighth (his 17th) to move to 5-under, McDowell fired his second to the par-5 ninth into the greenside bunker and looked set to move within two shots of the first-round lead

But his ball came to rest in front of a small branch with a leaf attached. When McDowell went to address his dimples, he loosely brushed a leaf and incurred a two-shot penalty for having touched a loose impediment.

The Northern Irishman instantly realised his error and called the penalty upon himself.

“The second I grazed it, we knew we might be in trouble,” said the 2010 US Open champion, who to his credit got up-and-down for a bogey-six to card a 4-under 68.

“Despite the fact nothing has moved, the lie hasn’t improved. I just didn’t give the branch enough respect. I’ve never seen that scenario before. It’s a tough lesson.”

Several weeks ago during the final round of the PGA Championship, Carl Pettersson faced a similar incident when he was penalised two shots for disturbing a dead leaf within the confines of the hazard line.

Are some of these rules spoiling the game? Tell us of times you’ve fallen foul of ridiculous golf rules in the forum, on Twitter @Golfmagic or on our Facebook page.



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