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Rickie Fowler missed the cut at The Players thanks in no small part to a palm tree

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Rickie Fowler opened his Players Championship with a two-over 74. He would have needed a three-under 69, Friday, to make the cut. The Oklahoma State alum looked well on his way to achieving that goal, until a palm tree got in the way.

Fowler was five under for his round when he got to the sixth hole (his 15th of the day). His tee shot sailed right, and when he arrived on scene to look for his ball, he realized he was in a bit of trouble.

Fowler’s ball was lodged in the fronds of a palm tree high overhead. And while fans saw the ball land in the tree, per Rule 28-11, Fowler had to be able to identify his ball. But, even with a binocular-aided view of the ball, he couldn’t see any identifying markings.

“Unfortunately the part of the ball that was showing was just all the white and dimples,” Fowler said.

As he couldn’t identify the ball, Fowler had to return to the tee to play his third shot. Had he been able to determine the ball was his, Fowler could have dropped within two club lengths of the base of the tree.

Ultimately, Fowler doubled the hole. He made matters worse at the seventh, going wide left with his tee shot and finding the water.

Four over across the two-hole stretch, Fowler went from three under for the tournament to one over, missing the cut accordingly.

Needless to say, Fowler wasn’t exactly loving the Rules of Golf after his round.

“I mean, if a ball happens to hit something and go into a hazard, it’s not like you have to go identify the ball inside the hazard or in the water. It’s, ‘Hey, we saw it go right here…so, I mean it was pretty clear that the ball was there, that was where everybody saw it go and heard it go. But not the case with that one.”

Curiously, while Fowler won The Players in 2015 and tied for second in 2012, he has never finished better than tied for 60th in his other starts.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Bob Parson Jr.

    May 12, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Once again, the rules of golf making a mockery of the game. I guess we will need scuba divers at golf courses to identify balls at some point in the near future.

  2. sid

    May 12, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Rattled by a palm tree frond and then defeated by water…. great course design.

  3. Man

    May 11, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    He makes a great point.

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Equipment

Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65

Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 4-iron, Titleist 718 AP2 (5-7), Titleist 718 CB (8-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)

SEA ISLAND, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Charles Howell lll tees off on the eighth hole tee box during the third round of The RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 17, 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)

RELATED: See what members are saying about CH III’s equipment in the forums.

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Equipment

Danny Willett’s Winning WITB: DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 60x

3-wood: Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway X Forged Utility Irons (18, 21, 24 degrees), Callaway X Forged 18 Irons (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged PW (48 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold

Putter: Odyssey Prototype (Stroke Lab)

Ball: Chrome Soft X

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Equipment

Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees) (D6)
Shaft: Veylix Rome 60 X Tip 1”, 45.25″

3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) (D3)
Shaft: Aldila Phenom 70X, 43″

Hybrid: Ping G (19 degrees) (D2+)
Shaft: Aldila ATX Tour Green 85X, 40.5”

Irons: Ping i210 4-PW, UW (50 degrees) UW (54 degrees) (Std length, Blue color code, D0+)
Shafts: Ping JZ Stiff

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: JZ Stiff

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch 35”
Grip: PING Pistol Sigma 2 PP60

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord (+1 wrap) on woods, PING Id8 Half Cord on irons

Ball: Titleist ProV1x

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