Jul 26th, 2017

New controversy over Spieth's drop on 13

Dropgate anyone?

There’s fresh controversy about Jordan Spieth’s drop on the 13th, as a little bird has told us that he dropped it in completely the wrong place.

Spieth ‘dropped’ it between the Titleist and Callaway trucks, as we all saw, but he should have dropped it on a straight line to the hole.

New controversy over Spieth's drop on 13 The unplayable ball rule states that:

“If you believe your ball is unplayable, you may, under penalty of one stroke:

Play a ball from where your last shot was played, or

Drop a ball any distance behind the point where the ball lay keeping a straight line between the hole, the point where the ball lay and the spot on which the ball is dropped, or

Drop a ball within two club-lengths of where the ball lay not nearer the hole.”

New controversy over Spieth's drop on 13 Jordan called the ball unplayable, took his one–shot penalty, and dropped between the Titleist and Callaway trucks, or least he would have done had the R&A rules official not told him that he didn’t need to because he would then clearly be getting relief.

He was ultimately then able to play his third shot, after the penalty, from the practice ground.

But the big question is was he keeping a straight line between where the ball landed and the hole. In other words, was his drop between the Titleist and Callaway trucks on a straight line between his unplayable lie and the flag stick?

And these pictures raise serious questions about that.

New controversy over Spieth's drop on 13 It’s also not as if this is one of the more arcane rules of golf. It’s one that we all know, which makes the whole incident weirder, as the Jordan’s positioning of the ball was approved by the rules official before he took the shot.

New controversy over Spieth's drop on 13 This is turning out to be one of the most controversial holes ever played in golf, although one suggestion that Jordan was using his discarded driver for alignment has been proven completely wrong.


We’d be interested in what our readers make of this evidence. We don’t want to seem like armchair warriors having a moan, as the golf that Jordan played on the back–nine was sublime, and he was a worthy winner.

But make your own minds up.


Lexi Thompson’s rules injustice

New controversy over Spieth's drop on 13

TAGS: Jordan Spieth, The Open, Royal Birkdale, Players, Tournaments

Please login to post a comment on an article

Comments (5)

  • Anonymous

    Looking at the Line of Sight on your image it was always going to be the case that he would get further relief after his first drop. However the true position for the drop was further back and more to the left, so further relief from there would have been to the left of the obstructions and possibly in the rough making the recovery shot much more difficult. I believe the referee made a mistake in saying he didn't need to drop as he would get further relief.

    July 26 at 19:18pm
  • Anonymous

    I thought this at the time as he seemed far more left than a straight line to the hole. In fact I Tweeted about it at the time. Seems that officials will let the top players do what they want to do. As they went to the top of the mound his ball was positioned by they must have had a great line of sight on the hole!

    July 27 at 07:54am
  • Anonymous

    Well looking at those pictures he clearly played from the wrong position. That said, he has rules officials and they must have approved it so he can't be blamed. They also took 20 minutes to decide so it's not as if they rushed into a decision.

    July 27 at 11:34am
  • TravisDub

    Sprawdz najlepsze krzewy ozdobne na naszej stronie http://insdesign.weebly.com

    July 27 at 14:13pm
  • Ash72How

    The Referee made no mistake!! Jordan declared his ball unplayable, the drop would have been in between the tour trucks. On the R&A's Tournament Hardcard there is a Local Rule for T.I.O's ( Temporary Immovable Obstructions) in this case the Tour Trucks. So after taking free relief under that Local Rule you can no longer say that the drop was not taken on a direct line to the pin. In this case the T.I.O ruling is a new situation. The Rules Official handled the ruling fantastically when at that stage of the Championship there would have been immense pressure. Jordan got the correct ruling which was fair to both him and the rest of the field.

    July 27 at 18:14pm
  • Rulefan

    If you are going to comment get your facts right. After taking relief correctly for an unplayable ball he then found that a truck would be in his way. The truck was a Temporary Immovable Obstruction from which relief was available through a Local Rule. He correctly dropped and played his ball under this permitted rule.
    It seems he knows the Rules better than your columnist !!!!

    July 27 at 19:06pm