The rules infraction score for the Presidents Cup currently stands at 1-1.
Rather than making a joke about how the International side’s superior performance on that scoreboard, as compared to the official point tally, let’s get to the infractions.
During Friday four-ball play, Anirban Lahiri practiced a bunker shot after his side conceded a hole. While putting after concession is permissible, practice shots are not. Thus, Lahiri was disqualified from the next hole (as the hole where the infraction occurred was already completing), leaving partner Charl Schwartzel alone for the team’s third hole.
Saturday’s four-ball matches saw the United States side incur a penalty of its own. Unfortunately, Jordan Spieth, who already suffered the indignity of a whiff this week, has a penalty to add to his list of Presidents Cup accomplishments.
Spieth and Patrick Reed were facing Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen. At the par-4 12th, with the teams all square, Oosthuizen attempted an eagle putt. The ball cruised past the hole. Jason Day had already carded a birdie at that point, so Oosthuizen’s birdie putt was ultimately going to be meaningless. Thus, Jordan Spieth picked up the ball using his putter…while it was still moving.
Spieth’s stoppage of the ball, however, was a violation of Rule 1-2, which reads in part, a player “must not take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play.”
So, while the putt was meaningless, Spieth broke a rule. The penalty for influencing an opponent’s ball? Loss of hole. Thus, Spieth was out of the hole and was unable to attempt his putt to halve the hole and the Internationals claimed it to move to 1 up.
Here’s the infraction.
Here is the "incident" that got Jordan Spieth disqualified from the 12th hole.
Louis and Day move to 1-up in the match. pic.twitter.com/gMY72KHgQi
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) September 30, 2017
Fortunately for the U.S. side, the penalty didn’t doom the duo; Spieth and Reed would go on to win the match 2&1.