T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Fitzpatrick calls penalty on self for moving ball
Series: Golf Buzz
Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 | 1:05 p.m.
Golf is a game based on honesty and integrity.
Reigning U.S. Amateur champ Matthew Fitzpatrick -- paired with 2013 U.S. Open champ Justin Rose and 2013 British Open champ Phil Mickelson for the first two rounds at Pinehurst No. 2 -- proved that on Thursday at the 114th U.S. Open.
Behind the green in two shots at the par-4 eighth hole -- his 17th hole of the day -- Fitzpatrick prepared to play a chip shot onto the green for his third shot.
However, Fitzpatrick accidentally made contact with his golf ball at address. It barely moved.
Fitzpatrick called in a rules official and explained that he caused the ball to move. He then marked the ball, returned it to its original position and took a one-stroke penalty for the infraction under Rule 18-2b, which states:
If a player's ball in play moves after he has addressed it (other than as a result of a stroke), the player is deemed to have moved the ball and incurs a penalty of one stroke.
The ball must be replaced, unless the movement of the ball occurs after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made.
Exception: If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply.
From there, Fitzpatrick got up and down for a spectacular bogey.
He then parred his final hole for an opening 1-over 71.