Flying leaf deflects golf ball and leads to four-stroke penalty

This golfer was furious as a wind-blown leaf deflects the golf ball away from the hole. But he should have replayed the shot with no penalty.

This clip is floating around of England’s Matthew Southgate getting an unlucky break during the final round of the DAP Championship on the Tour.

Southgate’s golf ball is deflected away from the hole on the 15th green by a leaf being blown across the green and with PGA Tour card’s on the line, he’s understandably not happy.

Southgate putted out to finish the hole but he shouldn’t have. According to the rules he should have replayed the shot, without penalty – its dealt with under rule 19-1b which says:

Rule 19-1b: If a player’s ball in motion after a stroke on the putting green is deflected or stopped by, or comes to rest in or on, any moving or animate outside agency, except a worm, insect or the like, the stroke is cancelled. The ball must be replaced and replayed.

Because Southgate didn’t play by the rules (as strange as it is) he ended up with a four-stroke penalty – two for playing from the wrong spot and two more for signing an incorrect score card.

Southgate didn’t know about this ruling until after his round but the incident clearly got the better of him as he went on to bogey the 17th and made a triple-bogey at the 18th.

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