A truly bizarre moment occurred during round one of the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast that had the golf rules officials scrambling.
John Senden was playing his tee shot at the par-5 9th hole when the shaft of the driver snapped underneath the grip on his down-swing – see video below.
The snapped club caused Senden to completely miss the golf ball with the driver head smashing into the turf a few inches away but still completing some sort of golf swing.
While the referees told Senden (and playing partner Ogilvy) that the incident will be reviewed after the round it was deemed as an intentional air-swing. Meaning the golf ball, while still sitting on the tee was now officially “in play” – covered in Decision 14/5.
And here is where the rules got weird – and the reason for Ogilvy’s f-bomb.
Senden was left with a broken driver that he could technically still use it as it was damaged during the normal course of play, but the broken shaft in the grip made it impossible to make a swing.
So the only option left to Senden was to use a different club which required lowering the ball on the tee. But as the ball was deemed “in play” he could not touch or move the ball without incurring a penalty stroke.
And here is where the rules got even weirder…
Thanks to Rod Morri and Justin Falconer; Golf Australia Rules Director Simon Mugdulski explained that the tee was now an immovable obstruction. So Senden had two options; to simply hit it off the tee as it lay (on the top of the tee), or remove the tee and take a drop.
Senden eventually removed the tee, took a free drop on the tee box and made bogey.
More to come…
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— PGA of Australia (@PGAofAustralia) November 29, 2018