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Austin Johnson finds the correct ball Friday in the lake surrounding the fourth green at TPC Sawgrass.

It's not often that your brother will tell you to go jump in a lake, and you'll do it.

But that's exactly what happened to Austin Johnson on Friday during the second round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, and with good reason. It saved brother Dustin two penalty strokes.

In one of the odder situations that can crop up on a golf course, Dustin Johnson had marked his ball on the fourth green, near the edge where water comes into play. Somehow while trying to toss the ball to his brother, who caddies for him, the ball slipped out of Dustin's hand, went over the railroad ties and rolled into the lake.

According to Chip Essig, 2011 National PGA Golf Professional of the Year and Vice Chairman of the PGA of America's Rules Committee, a couple of Rules then came into play.

"Rule 16 states that if you lift the ball on the green, you've got to mark it and the ball's got to be replaced," Essig said. "And Rule 15 tells us we can't substitute a ball in that situation. There are instances where you can replace a ball. Unfortunately, picking it up off the green to clean it and putting it back is not one of them.

MORE RULES: Why taking relief may not be your best option

"You've got to put back the same ball you lifted. ... There used to be no way to get a ball back into play if you lost your original ball like that."

If that happened in the past, the player was disqualified, Essig said. Since the Rules were modified, it was changed to a two-stroke penalty for substituting a ball.

"Obviously, Dustin really didn't want the two-stroke penalty so he made his brother go down in the lake and find the ball," Essig said.

So as Dustin Johnson, fellow competitor Bubba Watson and a Rules official looked on, Austin climbed down into the water -- with sneakers on -- and lo and behold, found Dustin's ball on his first try.

The whole episode was caught on camera.

 

 

Disaster averted.

"A lot of times those lakes have enough slope in them that when the ball goes in, it rolls five or six feet further down," Essig said. "And there's a good chance there's a lot of balls in there. The fact that they pulled up a ball and it was his, is pretty lucky, too.

"The other thing that I'd be concerned about -- there's alligators in those lakes."

UNLUCKY BOUNCE: Rory McIlroy's penalty drop winds up wet

Why does Rule 15 exist in the first place? Essig explains.

"You've got to finish the hole with the ball you started with," he said. "They don't want a ball that you can hit off the tee that doesn't spin very much and goes farther, and then a ball you can hit off a fairway that spins a lot so you can stop it. And then you get to the green and get a ball that hasn't been hit at all that should be more round -- truer -- to putt with.

"They want you playing the game with one ball."

However, there are exceptions to the Rule. Essig said because of hazards, it's impractical to require golfers to find every lost ball. So a ball can be substituted in certain situations. If the ball goes in a water hazard, you can drop any ball with a one-stroke penalty. Same with the unplayable ball rule. You can also switch out a ball that's damaged in the course of play.

So the lesson to be learned?

"Never throw your ball to your caddie near water, because you don't want to lose it," Essig said. "It's one of those odd situations. How many times in a tournament does Dustin throw the ball to his brother and he never drops it? And the one time it drops, it's next to water and you've got to go get it."

Golf rules: Why Dustin Johnson's caddie jumped in a lake
PGA Tour/YouTube
Russell Knox smiles after finally reaching the island green -- in 7. He'd go on to make a 9.

Russell Knox lived every golfer's nightmare Saturday in the third round of the Players. And yet, he could still joke about it hours later.

Standing on the tee at the iconic No. 17 island green, Knox plopped not one, not two, but three balls in the water before moving over to the drop zone and finally landing one safely on his seventh shot. He wound up carding a 9.

If you want to relive Knox's difficulties, here's a video recap.

 

 

 

 

The second attempt is the hardest to watch, as Knox hit a shank that almost landed on the television camera stand on the other island in the lake, way right of his intended target.

Knox was able to make fun of his shot on social media later, and promised he'd get even with TPC Sawgrass on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

That's a heck of an attitude, especially given the circumstances. 

 

 

Knox keeps his chin up after splashing three balls, carding 9 at Sawgrass' No. 17
May 13, 2016 - 2:47pm
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T.J. Auclair
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Will Wilcox
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Until Will Wilcox stepped to the tee at the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass on Friday, it had been 14 long years since the last time an ace had been made on that hole in the Players Championship.

It's been 6,296 tee shots and 14 years since a hole-in-one has been made on the famous par-3 17th island green at TPC Sawgrass in the Players Championship.

That was when Miguel Angel Jimenez turned the trick in the first round of the 2002 Players.

On Friday, during the tournament's second round, Will Wilcox snagged the seventh ace on the 17th in Players history.

Check out this beauty:

 

Is there a better place in golf to make an ace? 

Will Wilcox aces famous par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass
Lydia Ko/Twitter
Lydia Ko and Prince Harry pose for a photo.

Being the No. 1 golfer in the world -- and an ambassador for the Invictus Games -- has its perks. Like meeting a real prince.

The inaugural Invictus Games were held in 2014 as a way for wounded armed services personnel to participate in multiple sports, much like the Paralympics. It was the brainchild of Prince Harry of Great Britain, as a way of making sure the efforts of soldiers who participated in the Afghanistan conflict were fully appreciated, and to "... use sport as a way to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and demonstrate life beyond disability."

So when Orlando offered to host the second Games, Ko was asked to be an ambassador. And on Wednesday, she had the opportunity to meet Prince Harry, as this tweet shows.

 

 

Ko has had a pretty awesome 2016. She was in attendance at the Masters earlier this spring, had a chance to practice putting with NBA MVP Stephen Curry and won a tournament in her native New Zealand despite having an earthquake interruption.

Lydia Ko meets Prince Harry at Invictus Games