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‘I wasn’t aware that rule was changed’ – Rory McIlroy suffers 2-stroke penalty at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

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When Rory McIlroy stepped on the 6th tee (his 15th hole of the day) at Spyglass hill in Thursday’s opening round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, he had the solo lead at -6. When he signed his scorecard after the 9th hole, the four-time major champion sat at -1 and currently sits in a tie for 39th.

After making a bogey on the par-4 6th, McIlroy found himself in a predicament after his tee shot on the par-5 7th, and according to rules officials, took a bad drop. He was docked an additional two strokes after making six, giving him a triple bogey 8 on the hole.

Rory was under the impression that he could take a drop with one club-length in accordance with Rule 19.2b, however that rule was changed prior to the 2023 season.

The infraction falls under rule 14.3b and indicates McIlroy was not entitled to a club length.

“Ball Must Be Dropped in Relief Area (or on Line). The ball must be dropped in the relief area. The player may stand either inside or outside the relief area when dropping the ball. But when taking back-on-the-line relief (see Rules 16.1c(2)”.

When asked about the rule infraction after the round, he explained what happened.

“I took an unplayable on 7 and I took it back on-line. Then unbeknownst to me, the rule changed in January 2023 where you used to be able to come back on line and a take a club length either side.”

“That was changed in 2019 to be able to do that. I wasn’t aware that rule was changed again in 2023, so I took a drop thinking of the 2019 rules when everything was sort of changed – not knowing that the rule was changed again in 2023 – so got a two-stroke penalty there.”

The PGA Tour’s chief referee, Stephen Cox, spoke to reporters after the round as well.

“The current rule, which was rewritten in January of 2023, requires the player to go back from where his ball was in line with the flag, this was certainly in his case, and then drop the ball on that line.”

McIlroy will now have some work to do during the 2nd round at Pebble Beach if he wants to get into contention over the weekend.

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19th Hole

PGA Tour pro pleads for Tiger Woods to help change ‘terrible’ hole at Genesis Invitational

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On Sunday night after the conclusion of the Genesis Invitational, PGA Tour player Adam Schenk took to X to complain about Riviera Country Club’s difficult par 3 4th hole.

Schenk isn’t alone in thinking that the 4th hole at Riv is too demanding, but there are also plenty of players and fans who love the hole.

Ben Hogan called the hole “The greatest par 3 hole in America.”

Smylie Kaufman also said that he believes the hole is more about luck than skill.

Ultimately, there is a fine line between challenging and unfair and the 4th at Riviera will continue to generate some mixed opinions on which category it falls under.

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19th Hole

Brandel Chamblee offers solution to Scottie Scheffler’s putting woes

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On Monday, Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee took to social media to discuss Scottie Scheffler’s putting stroke, referencing the banning of “anchoring” in the process.

“The USGA and R&A made anchoring illegal beginning in 2016 because the fulcrum established when one anchors simplifies the putting stroke such that one can merely let gravity return the putter to the ball. BUT one can legally simulate an anchored putting stroke by letting the putter head move substantially more than the handle and most of the best putters throughout history have done this.”

“So when I look at Scottie Scheffler continue to struggle with his putting (he was dead last in SG Putting amongst those that made the cut at Genesis) I wonder why he simply doesn’t try to get more flow and take the wooden look of dragging the handle out of his stroke. Compare the degree to which Scheffler drags the handle as opposed to some of the best putters of all time in the pictures below.”

Brandel then posted by side-by-side pictures comparing Scottie’s strokes to some of the game’s great putters of the past.

Chamblee then posted a video of why he believes Scheffler is more prone to having “heel strikes” in his putting stroke.

Scheffler finished 10th at the Genesis Invitational where he lost 4.4 strokes putting.

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19th Hole

‘My chill here was zero’ – The comment from Genesis winner Hideki Matsuyama that left Amanda Balionis Renner stunned

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On Sunday at Riviera, Hideki Matsuyama shot one of the most impressive rounds in the history of the event.

The Japanese star was six shots back of Patrick Cantlay to begin his final round with a handful of very good players ahead of him as well. Matsuyama went on to shoot 62 and won the event by an unthinkable three shots. During the round, Hideki made a few incredible shots including a dart on the par 4th 15th to less than a foot.

After the round, Matsuyama spoke to Golf on CBS’ Amanda Renner via a translator about the round. Inexplicably, the 2021 Masters Champion said he felt like three over par on the day.

Renner seemed shock by the comment and took to X later to share her thoughts.

“My chill here was… zero,” she said.

Hideki is truly one of a kind!

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