"He shouldn't be penalised retrospectively" Bjorn defends Cam Smith

Thomas Bjorn has come to the defence of LIV-linked Cameron Smith after the Australian was penalised two shots at the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 15 Aug 2022
"He shouldn't be penalised retrospectively" Bjorn defends Cam Smith

The conspiracy theorists were out in full force after LIV Golf-linked Cameron Smith was docked two shots before his final round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Apparently Smith, who has said he is ready to "cop some heat" over his future, was informed of the ruling 30 minutes before his tee time. He was completely unaware of the golf rule. 

Rumour has it that Smith handled the situation like "a gentleman" and completely owned up to the fact his golf ball was on the line of the penalty area after he smashed his tee shot into the water at the par-3 fourth hole during the third round. 

Anyway, former Ryder Cup Europe captain Thomas Bjorn, took to social media to defend the 28-year-old World No.2. 

The 15-time European Tour winner posted this:

Unfortunately for Smith he couldn't really get anything going during his final round. He eventually finished T-13 on 9-under par, six strokes back of the eventual, emotional winner Will Zalatoris. 

What, exactly, did the PGA Tour say about the ruling?

PGA Tour chief referee Gary Young explained to Golf Channel:

"[It was a] crazy morning, unfortunate situation for Cam Smith.

"During Round 3 of play on the 4th hole, we had a situation where we had noticed that Cam had hit a ball into the penalty area, left of the green.

"When we came back to the live action, we saw him playing a shot from down there and it looked like his ball was awfully close to the line but we felt comfortable that the player knew enough that he couldn't play a ball that was touching the line of the penalty area. 

"I talked to the official that was in that area and he unfortunately didn't see and he certainly didn't get called in on anything. 

"We discussed it a little bit more this morning after someone else on the committee had seen the broadcast and we decided to take a second look at it, and we thought it was close enough that we should probably talk to the player himself, and at that point Cam came into the rules office and we talked a little bit and I described the scenario of how we came about the information and just wanted him to be comfortable that he knew the ball wasn't touching the line, and at that point he said 'yes, my ball was definitely touching the line'.

"He wasn't aware that no portion of the ball could be touching the penalty area line. He thought that if a portion of the ball was in the general area of the course that he was safe to play it."

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