Jul 26th, 2017
New controversy over Spieth's drop on 13
Words: GolfPunk Illustration: R&A
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.