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Brutal penalty crushes European Tour hopeful’s Q-School dreams

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On Monday, while attempting to forge his way into the Q-School final stage, young European Tour hopeful Gian-Marco Petrozzi suffered a penalty which ultimately cost him the chance of competing in a playoff for an alternate spot.

The incident took place on the 18th hole at Las Colinas Golf & Country Club in Spain, where, while preparing for his approach shot which needed to be played over a bunker, the 21-year-old walked through the bunker and then raked his footprints in the sand before playing his second shot. Petrozzi was deemed to have improved his line of sight, breaching Rule 13-2, which carries a two stroke penalty.

Petrozzi had fired five birdies in his last six holes, in a round which also included a hole in one on his eighth hole of the day, and he walked off the 18th green believing he had shot a round of 65 which would have earned him a place in a playoff for an alternate spot. However, after being assessed the penalty, Petrozzi signed for a 67 which dashed all hopes of making the Q-School Final Stage.

Speaking about the incident on social media, the Englishman spoke about the “tough lesson” he had learned and explained how he was unaware that he was involved in any wrongdoing at the time.

Rule 13-2, which Petrozzi invoked, states that a player must not improve his line of play by:

  • pressing a club on the ground,
  • moving, bending or breaking anything growing or fixed (including immovable obstructions and objects defining out of bounds),
  • creating or eliminating irregularities of surface,
  • removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, replaced divots or other cut turf placed in position, or
  • removing dew, frost or water.

The Q-School Final Stage takes place from November 10-15 at Lumine GC in Spain.

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. John Hall

    Nov 10, 2018 at 12:34 am

    Speaking as an Englishman, I would like to remark on the way he took stoic ownership of his infraction, unlike another very recent female golfer.

  2. Keith

    Nov 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Well, if he raked a straight line from the green to his ball position, he did create a guide, and did violate the rules.

  3. Paul

    Nov 9, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    These are the types of issues that make golf look completely ridiculous.

  4. David Roberts

    Nov 9, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Really in this day and age get rid of these antiquated rules and bring the game into the 21st century.

  5. RAT

    Nov 9, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Wow! tough but I think unless it’s improving his footing or marking a line by using his footprints this should have be a no harm no foul

  6. Bill

    Nov 9, 2018 at 11:54 am

    So then… what the rules are also saying is that anyone walking ahead of their ball to get a better look at their target is committing the same infraction if there is dew on the ground?? I’m sure that’s been done countless times even on tour.
    I think what is missing in the rules is “intent.” If the rules included that, he would have to have intended to improve his line which is clearly not the case because he would have no reason to hit it in the bunker.

    • John Hall

      Nov 10, 2018 at 12:24 am

      Bill, I’m usually a real stickler for the rules (If you don’t have rules, you don’t have a game) but I really like your idea of “intent”. I’m surprised no-one’s suggested it before, as far as I know.

  7. SaiDaiOh

    Nov 9, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Lesson learnt: Never rake a bunker yourself during a tournament

  8. Tiger Noods

    Nov 8, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Can someone verify that this would not be a 2019 penalty?

  9. Geoffrey Holland

    Nov 8, 2018 at 12:45 am

    “Petrozzi was deemed to have improved his line of sight, breaching Rule 13-2, which carries a two stroke penalty.”

    Line of play, not sight you nimrods.

    Nice proofreading.

  10. Jim

    Nov 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Dang thats rough! I never would have known NOT to do that and ive only been playing this game for 25 years. What i interpret here is he was just putting the bunker around him back to its original state where he found his ball.
    How can you improve your line/sight by raking a bunker?? I honestly dont understand that.

    Though there are 3 sides to every story and we really arent being told if by doing so it actually improved his line/shot.

    • ScoFF

      Nov 7, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      IF he had hitten a fat shot and throw the ball into the bunker, He would have had improved his line/shot.

      • Jim

        Nov 7, 2018 at 11:34 pm

        Ohh Gotcha. That makes sense. Thank you!

      • SaiDaiOh

        Nov 9, 2018 at 2:25 am

        In what way? He is not playing in that bunker yet. Returning to its original state should not be penalized at that stage.

        • SaiDaiOh

          Nov 9, 2018 at 4:11 am

          This ruling is outright stupid. He should have filed a complaint against that ruling, for his tour card he worked so hard for and for every aspiring golfer.

          • Like

            Nov 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm

            He was playing for a playoff to the alternate spot to the final stage of Q school. Unlikely he got a spot in that tournament much less his tour card.

      • RaytheRules

        Nov 11, 2018 at 4:14 pm

        It may be that he had a blind shot and went to view the pin position. He would then walk a straight line back to his ball through the bunker. If he then rakes the bunker to indicate the line for his approach – then he could incur a penalty. That is how I interpret the ruling.

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PGA Championship: 5 Things We Learned On Saturday

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Day three at Bethpage promised to differ from the first 48 hours of the 2019 PGA Championship. With a halved field and no 10th-hole tee times, odds of missing your tee time were reduced, even for David Lipsky. Brooks Koepka began the day with a 7-stroke lead, but the chance to chase him down depended on one of two scenarios playing out.

The first demanded similar course conditions to days one and two. In that situation, someone would shoot 63 or 64, hoping Koepka remained at par or higher. Conditions were different, as the wind picked up and then swirled, sending a higher number of tee shots into the rough and beyond. As for the second, well, it required Koepka to balloon to a mid- to high-70s score, allowing a score anywhere below par to make up ground. Neither one happened, and Koepka left the state park with the same lead as he had 24 hours prior. We still learned quite a bit on Saturday, so have a look at the 5 most important things we learned on Saturday at the 2019 PGA Championship.

5. New names made the heir presence known

Ardent followers of professional golf have read about Jazz Janetonowond, Harold Varner III and Luke List, but until today, none had made a dent in the first page of a major professional event. Each sits at -5, tied with Dustin Johnson, seven blows behind Koepka. Varner will accompany Koepka on the Sunday march, but all four of the minus-fives will play either for 2nd spot, or the coveted “If Koepka should falter” trophy.

4. How do you come from THAT far behind?

Simply put, you need to make six birdies at least, get to 9 or 10 under par, and pray for rain. Koepka’s swing looks like it’s here to stay. He doesn’t get tired physically, and he isn’t under the weather. Yesterday, I predicted that Matt Wallace would hit more shots like this one. I stand by that prediction, and expect Wallace (at -4) to be the only one of the chasers to give Koepka a run. Wallace is playing for the same sort of legitimacy as the leader. Koepka wants to be a part of the conversation for best golfer in the world; Wallace wants to be much more than an afterthought when Ryder Cup 2021 comes around. Sunday will put the Englishman in another class.

3. Spieth and Scott went quietly away

No one likes to foretell doom and gloom, unless they go by the name of Bran Stark. It is someone’s job to predict such things in golf, and the team of S and S shared the cloak of most likely to play above par on Saturday. The Jordan Spieth who gutted out the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay was not present today. The Adam Scott who played through the rain to defeat Angel Cabrera in the 2013 Masters playoff was also unavailable. Bethpage is a big, brawny golf course. With the exception of Lucas Glover in 2009, it rewards big, brawny golfers.

2. Is Bethpage a boring place to play a major championship?

I don’t think so, but I’m not convinced that this was the best set-up for it. If the PGA likes birdies, tell me how they went from 10 billion birdies in the event’s first half, to quite a few less on day three? Something changed, or perhaps the course caught up with the conditions. There is a lot of thick rough out there…why? Increase fairway width by 10%, so that balls that barely miss, have a chance at redemption. Move the tee markers up on number six and make it a drivable par four for at least one round. Do the same on number eighteen, just for one day on the weekend. If Koepka is on his game for day four, anticipate a nice time for a long nap.

1. Will Brooks Koepka seal the deal on Sunday?

All signs point to Yes, and major championship number four, and possibly the blessing of Pope Brandel of Chamblee. However, we did see a few flinches on Saturday, and we would like to mention them here. To begin, his putting distance control was erratic. Did you see that first putt on 17, from 20 feet? The one that went 75% of the way to the hole? Brooks made his share of 5-feet putts today, but if the distance control gets weird tomorrow, and the short putts start spinning out, well then… Another area of concern was driving. He can’t be perfect, but with the big stick in his hands at all times, the big miss might be coming. If BK goes wide right or left and makes a big number, the confidence might be shaken.

All right, I’m searching for a needle in a haystack of straws at which I’m grasping. Got that? It’s a double metaphor, because a double metaphor is what is needed to keep Koepka from holding PGA and US Open trophies for the 2nd consecutive cycle.

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PGA Championship: 5 things we learned Friday

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Don’t worry, we’ll get to him. You have to be patient. Some interesting stuff happened at Bethpage Black on Friday, but doesn’t something always go down in metro?  Some late stumbles ensured that the plus-fours would see the weekend in a competitive fashion. Not talking knickers, mind you, but the guys who shot 72-72. All right then, enough with the musings, on with the 5 things we learned on day five of this week.

5. El Gato Con Rayas won’t be winning the Slam this season

Tiger Woods had history with BPB, doncha know?! Some things have a due date, an “it’s not you, it’s me” moment. 2k19 was that for TDubs and the Black. He fought, mind you. He birdied his 27th hole, but that was followed by 4 boges in 5 holes. He didn’t have his A nor his B game this week, so he didn’t walk away a beaten man. Just as well, as that guy who just wants respect went low again, opening up a 7-stroke lead at the halfway point. So that you know, I’ll take bets on Eldrick bagging either the U.S. or British Open championships. He’s coming out of 2019 with 16 majors, bank on it.

4. Three of your teachers made the cut

There are 3 shields on the leader board, and they will be there until Sunday. Marty Jertson, Rob Labritz and Ryan Vermeer stood tall as Friday dusked. They looked at their loved ones and said, simply, “I can’t believe it; I did it. I made the cut.” No matter what happens over the next two days, this triumvirate might as well be named Vardon, Taylor and Braid. They showed the golfing world that fellows who work a day job in golf, can prepare and perform at the level of the world’s finest touring professionals. Cheers to you, gentlemen.

3. Spieth and Scott are done; Wallace is your man

Despite this prank, or perhaps because of it, Matt Wallace is my pick to overtake Burger King and win the 2019 PGA Championship. If you can hashtag a chip on someone’s shoulder, Wallace has had a massive one since he was snubbed by Thomas Bjorn last fall for the Euro Ryder Cup team. The Englishman made 6 birdies on day two, and shows no signs of stopping. He’ll make 8 birdies on Saturday, mark my words. That should send a signal flare that even BK notices. Oh, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott? They had their day of glory. They’re done.

2. They might be workout bruhs, but…

…enough is enough. DJ was poised to be the schizz until BK said “?Habla usted back-to-back US Open?” He’s now on the cusp of B2BPGA, and that’s something that the golfer currently known as Paulina’s will not stomach. Not with brother Austin in his bag. Not with all of South Carolina pulling for him. Johnson won’t be paired with the leader on Saturday, so he’ll have to make some noise on the first 4 holes to get muscles’ attention. He can do it, but can he sustain it? This weekend, he will.

1. How did this guy get an invite, again?

Just messing with you, B to the K. This guy epitomizes values: goes overseas to meet new people and learn the game the hard way; works his arse off in the gym to get large and fit; shows no fear when faced with adversity and greatness. I can’t promise I never dissed Brooks Koepka in previous pieces, but man, he sends a message. 7 birdies each day. 0 bogies day 1, 2 bogies day 2. If he keeps making buckets of birdies, t’ain’t no one gonna catch him. Here’s to you, Brooks, and whatever choice of swimwear is yours, today. Records? They nice.

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Morning 9: Koepka’s 4.5-hour middle finger | The monster Tiger created? | Daly on why he’s playing

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

May 17, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Koepka: “One of the best rounds I’ve played”
BK opens the PGA with a 63…
  • AP’s Doug Ferguson…“At times overlooked even after winning three majors in the last two years, Koepka gave thousands of fans a round to remember Thursday morning at brawny Bethpage Black with a record-setting start to his title defense in the PGA Championship.”
  • “He had a 7-under 63, making him the first player in 101 years of the PGA Championship to shoot that score twice. He broke the course record at Bethpage Black and became the first player to post 63 at a major in consecutive years.”
  • ”That was one of the best rounds I’ve played probably as a professional,” Koepka said. ”This golf course is brutal.”
2. Lackluster Tiger
A PGATour.com staff report…
  • “Woods drove the ball well enough to contend at Bethpage Black, but his steady ball-striking was outweighed by too many sloppy shots when he had short clubs in hand.”
  • “Bethpage Black is a long, brutish course lined by rough so thick that players are struggling even to hit mid-irons out of it. Woods missed just four fairways while hitting driver off a majority of the tees. And he had birdie putts on nine of his final 10 holes to steady himself after making two double-bogeys on his opening nine. But he three-putted twice on his back nine and signed for a 72. He sat nine shots off Brooks Koepka’s lead after that frustrating first round.”
  • “It wasn’t as clean as I’d like to have it for sure,” Woods said. His score was about three-quarters of a shot below the field average in the morning.
3. Also…
Golf Digest’s Dave Shedloski on those who also played well Thursday…
  • “The group, all at one-under 69, includes World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, ageless wonder Phil Mickelson, former PGA champion Jason Day and the major-starved Rickie Fowler. All but Fowler played in the afternoon when conditions were a bit more stringent.”
  • “Yeah, it’s difficult,” said Mickelson, when asked about Koepka’s early scoring salvo, “but you just have to stay in the present because if you start chasing a score like that, it won’t come to you, and you’ll end up making big mistakes.”
  • “I’m very pleased with it,” said Johnson, who played alongside Spieth and Spaniard Jon Rahm, who was at even par. “I felt like I hit it really well, drove it good and hit a lot of greens, gave myself a lot of opportunities.”
4. The monster Tiger created
ESPN’s Ian O’Connor…
“This is all Tiger’s fault, of course, because he inspired a generation of golfers who grew up watching him. Koepka was 6 years old when Woods won his first of 15 major championships — the 1997 Masters. Though Koepka’s father, Bob, used to tease his high school classmates for earning letterman jackets for golf because, he said, “I didn’t think it was a sport,” Woods helped make golf a viable option for Brooks and other versatile young athletes who lived in the gym and preferred to look more like NFL strong safeties.”
5. No tip of DeChambeau’s cap to Bethpage’s length
Golf Channel’s Will Gray…
“DeChambeau opened with a 2-over 72, carding just two birdies, and he now trails Koepka by nine shots. Speaking to GolfChannel.com, he shared his viewpoint that when it comes to major championship venues, longer does not always mean better.”
  • “If you really want to prove who the best champion is, it’s not a long-drive contest. That’s why they have long-drive contests out here,” said DeChambeau, who actually won the long-drive contest at last year’s PGA at Bellerive. “It’s about precision. So when you start making it really tight, I get the tight part. But when you start lengthening it to the amounts that they’ve been lengthening it to, I just personally think that it’s a mess-up.”
6. A 4.5-hour middle finger
“I’ve been flipped off a few times in my life – probably not as often as you’d think – but I felt like he was giving me the finger for 4 1/2 hours out there today,” Chamblee said on Thursday night’s edition of “Golf Central Live From the PGA.”
  • “I gotta tell you, I enjoyed it,” Chamblee continued on Thursday, referring to Koepka’s round. “Outside of his immediate family, I can’t think anybody who enjoyed that round more than I did.”
7. Why play?
1991 PGA champion John Daly on why, with little chance of making the cut and motoring around the course in an Ez-Go, he is playing the PGA Championship.
Adam Woodard at Golfweek…
  • “It’s very awkward (to use a cart) and it’s almost to a point where it’s embarrassing,” he added, noting that he’d prefer to walk.
  • As as a past champion, Daly said he feels “obligated” to keep playing, if able.
  • “I don’t want to ride all the time, but if I don’t, I won’t be able to finish. I enjoy playing and I’m still competitive. It’s not really ego, I feel committed.”
8. Meanwhile, Eamon Lynch with the definitive Daly-taking-a-cart roasting
“There were cheers, for sure. There always are, whatever his failings. But around the grounds at Bethpage Black there is also an unmistakeable sense that the Daly Show is a tired act, that he is afforded courtesies that his conduct long ago cost him any right to expect. Sure, he earned his spot in the field as a former champion, and he has been legitimately granted a cart. But professional pride and sportsmanship should have rendered moot a decision on availing himself of either.”
9. When official yardage books don’t conform…
This is golf in the year 2019 files…
  • Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols…“The official yardage books that were given to teams for this week’s NCAA Division I Women’s Championships are actually non-conforming.”
  • “The grids for 10 of the 18 greens were deemed too big. Coaches were informed of the problem during a meeting after Wednesday’s practice round.”
  • “We’re just going to go to Office Depot and get some sticker labels and cover up all 18 of them,” said Purdue coach Devon Brouse.
  • “Officials didn’t specify which of the 10 holes were in violation.”
  • “It’s 1/16th off,” said Arkansas coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “It’s less than a freckle.”

 

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