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:
Wait for it ... #QuickHits pic.twitter.com/VscpNLOMJC— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 14, 2020
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.
Way longer than 10 seconds and a ‘normal life time to get to the ball. I’m thinking it shouldn’t count by the rules— atxxpkrgolf (@atxxpkrgolf) August 14, 2020
To all the galaxy brains saying he took too long to get to the ball: The ball was moving, and he couldn’t have made a stroke anyways.— roy donk (@Mold_Wizard) August 14, 2020
You might want to read Rule 13-3a. After the elapse of 10 seconds (plus a reasonable amount of time for the player to walk to the hole) the ball is treated as being at rest i.e., it's no longer moving as far as the rules are concerned.— The Rules of Golf (@rulesofgolf) August 15, 2020
Took 25 seconds for it to fall. Not sure how to count that one.— Brent June (@BrentJune) August 14, 2020
Always disagreed with this rule. From a physics perspective, the ball is still in motion. If it weren't, it wouldn't fall. Therefore, hitting a moving ball...— Bolias Virquinoeser (@scratchgolf2013) August 17, 2020
Not a fan of the call. Reasonable time to get to the hole, then 10 seconds. Doesn’t matter if ball is moving, after this time, ball is deemed to be at rest. Should have been 1P.— Bob Van Namen (@bobvn1) August 16, 2020