No free drop after Thomas’ shot stops near drain

BROOKLINE, Mass. — As Justin Thomas ready to hit his opening tee shot within the third spherical of the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club on Saturday, an announcer launched the two-time main champion as Justin Thompson.

It wasn’t the final time Thomas would get a foul name from the USGA.

On the par-4, 385-yard fourth gap, Thomas ripped his tee shot 320 yards down the left aspect of the golf green. Unfortunately for him, the ball stopped a few inches from a drain. He requested a USGA guidelines official for a ruling on a free drop.

“To me it was round a drain and really clearly, in my stance and my ball was sitting otherwise than it will be if that drain was not there,” Thomas stated after the spherical. “I known as an official to get a ruling on it, and within the spirit of the sport, [I told the official] I wasn’t going to hit the drain. I felt like I very simply may have instructed her that I used to be going to and gotten a free drop, however I wasn’t.”

Since Thomas stated he wasn’t going to hit the drain, the official dominated that he wasn’t getting reduction.

In an announcement to ESPN, the USGA stated: “During the dialogue, Justin was requested if the drain was going to intervene along with his swing, to which he replied it was not. Because there was no interference from the drain, Justin was not supplied reduction.”

Under rule 16.1a(1) of the Rules of Golf, a participant is afforded reduction if “interference from an immovable obstruction exists when the ball touches or is in or on the obstruction, or the obstruction bodily interferes with the participant’s space of supposed stance or space of supposed swing.”

“The Rule goes on to state that if the obstruction is shut sufficient to distract the participant however doesn’t in any other case intervene, there is no such thing as a reduction underneath the Rule,” the USGA assertion continued.

After not being given reduction, Thomas sprayed his second shot right into a greenside bunker. After chunking the shot, Thomas made just a few colourful feedback to his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay.

“That’s what pisses me off, as a result of so many different individuals would lie about having the ability to hit that, however it’s similar to, ‘I’m not going to hit it.’ That’s f—ing bulls—, man,” Thomas stated, earlier than tossing his iron at his bag.

Thomas ended up bogeying the opening. He completed 2-over 72 for the second consecutive spherical and is 3 over after 54 holes. Thomas and his staff had been nonetheless steaming in regards to the ruling on the placing inexperienced after his spherical.

“Yeah, it is unlucky as a result of it was an amazing drive, and I had a pitching wedge in my palms, and I solely hit it 100 yards,” Thomas stated. “I imply, yeah, it is very clear that my stance and the place my ball was was altered and sitting unhealthy due to that drain, however did not get a drop from it. That’s simply how it’s. You have to have the ability to hit the drain to get a drop.”

The excellent news for Thomas: He entered the ultimate spherical 7 pictures again earlier than profitable the PGA Championship for a second time at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, final month.

“I might really feel higher if I used to be 5 – 6 pictures higher,” Thomas stated. “Those guys have numerous golf left. Selfishly, for my sake, hopefully they’ll keep inside putting distance as a result of it is a great spot to put up. Hopefully, I can get scorching tomorrow after which go put up a quantity and provides them a rating to have a look at for a few hours.”

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