PGA Tour Pro sparks debate after waiting 30 seconds for ball to drop

Rafa Cabrera-Bello waited 30 seconds for his ball to drop as it rested next to the hole and it has caused a social media debate amongst golf fans.

Jack Seddon's picture
Tue, 18 Aug 2020
PGA Tour Pro sparks debate after waiting 30 seconds for ball to drop

Another week on the PGA Tour and another controversial rules incident. Rafa Cabrera-Bello has sparked a debate on Twitter after a video circulated of him waiting around 30 seconds for his ball to drop into the hole after it stopped on the edge of the cup.

In my opinion, there's no better way to sink a putt than for the ball to stop next to the hole, break your heart for a few seconds, before it finally drops.

Yes, sinking it straight in the middle of the cup takes away that moment of stress where you want to snap your putter, but it almost feels euphoric when you think you've missed it and suddenly you're fist pumping in celebration.

During the second round of the Wyndham Championship last Friday, Cabrera-Bello had to wait a little longer than he would have wanted to see his ball finally fall into the hole and it has caused a wide-spread debate between golf fans.

The Spaniard faced a birdie putt just under 20 feet at the par-3 7th hole at Sedgefield Country Club, where he seemed to judge the line and pace to perfection, moving the ball from right-to-left until it stopped on the edge of the cup.

Cabrera-Bello started a slow walk towards his ball, before Sir Nick Faldo spotted a dimple move as he commentated on the incident.

“Hang on a minute, I could have sworn I saw a dimple move, go on,” Faldo, said. “Which way is the Earth spinning?”

It took at least 25 seconds until Cabrera-Bello's ball finally fell from the edge of the cup and into the hole, securing the birdie for the 36-year-old. Watch the putt in the video below:

After the video was posted on the PGA Tour's official Twitter account, hundreds of golf fans started to ask why Cabrera-Bello wasn't given a penalty for waiting for so long for his ball to drop.

The ruling states: Rule 13.3a of the Rules of Golf — “Waiting Time to See If Ball Overhanging Hole Will Fall into Hole” — states, “If any part of a player’s ball overhangs the lip of the hole, the player is allowed a reasonable time to reach the hole and 10 more seconds to wait to see whether the ball will fall into the hole.”

If Cabrera-Bello had walked quickly up to his ball, he would have had an extra 10 seconds for his ball to drop - in which time he would have been left disappointed - but because he took a "reasonable" time (slow walk) to get to his ball after playing his shot, the Spaniard didn't receive a penalty and the birdie stood.

Of course it's difficult to judge in this situation what a "reasonable" amount of time to get to your ball is, hence why so many golf fans felt as though Cabrera-Bello should have faced a one-shot penalty.

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