Golf Buzz

Justin Rose
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Justin Rose was involved in a rules debate Saturday concerning whether his ball moved at address.

Editor's note: This story was originally published in May 2014

PGA Tour officials required slow-motion replay and high-definition television screens to determine whether Justin Rose's ball moved as he was about to address it Saturday during third-round action at The Players Championship. Did the ball move when he was lining up for his chip? Officials first docked him two strokes, then changed their minds Sunday morning, citing the new decision that went into effect on Jan. 1 dealing with situations "not easily discernible to the naked eye."

ROSE'S PENALTY RESCINDED: PGA Tour officials rely on Decision 18/4

But when you're playing a round at your local course, it's up to you and your partners to know Rule 18-2b and its consequences. According to Bryan Jones, co-vice chairman of the PGA Rules Committee, the rule is really pretty simple to remember: "Address the ball, ball moves, replace the ball, one-stroke penalty."

Here's the actual language from the rule book concerning what to do in that specific situation:

"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.

MORE ON DECISION 18/4: "Visual evidence" rule to take effect Jan. 1

"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."

For example, you set your club behind the ball and it rolls from its position -- whether you touched it or not -- that's a violation of Rule 18-2b. That's because "the player is 'deemed' to have caused this movement," Jones said.

GOLF GLOSSARY: A dictionary of terms, from A to Z

So whether you're playing stroke play or match play, that's a one-stroke penalty. But what does the rule mean by "replacing" the ball? Jones said you have two options, depending on the situation.

"Remember, replace can mean place or drop," Jones said. "If the previous location of the ball is precisely known, it is placed back in that spot. If not, it is dropped. The exception is on the putting green, where it is always placed."

Interestingly enough, if the ball moves because of gravity, it is considered a violation of Rule 18-2b. Replace the ball, take the penalty. If the ball rolls backwards at address and is stopped by the clubhead, that's also covered under Rule 18-2b. Replace the ball, take the penalty. 

There are some exceptions. For example, if the ball moves in a bunker without being affected by the player's stance or approach to the ball, that's not a penalty. And if the ball only wobbles and remains in its original position, Decision 18/2 says there's no penalty and no need to replace. We've seen "oscillation" brought up in tournament play in the past.

Jones calls Rule 18-2b a "default" rule.

"A couple of other examples are Rule 16-2 which 'deems' a ball that is overhanging the hole to be 'at rest' after 10 seconds even if it is still moving," Jones said. "And Rule 27-1c, Ball not found after 5 minutes, 'deems' a ball love after a five-minute search even if it is found and identified by the player at five minutes and one second."

So even without TV cameras and instant replay, you should be able to determine conclusively if you've run afoul of Rule 18-2b and what to do about it. 


June 19, 2016 - 6:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jason Day
@usopengolf on Twitter
Jason Day is rallying late at Oakmont in the 116th U.S. Open. Will this chip-in eagle at the 12th be the spark he needs to finish up strong?

Don't count Jason Day out of the U.S. Open just yet.

On a day where Oakmont is showing its teeth, par can be a player's best friend. But an eagle? That will allow you to make up a lot of ground in a hurry.

Just off the green in two on the 618-yard, par-5 12th hole, the reigning PGA Champion and current world No. 1 went ahead and did this for an incredibly timely 3:

The eagle brought Day to even par for the tournament -- 1 under on his round -- and within five shots of leader Dustin Johnson.

Five shots isn't as much as you might think at a course like Oakmont where anything can happen on the back nine. If Day can snag a couple more birdies on the way in and give the leaders something to think about, look out. 

June 19, 2016 - 5:14pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Sergio Garcia
@usopengolf on Twitter
Sergio Garcia, still in search of his first ever major win, is in prime position at Oakmont after he holed this bunker shot for an unlikely birdie.

On 20 occasions, Spain's Sergio Garcia has finished inside the top 10 at a major championship. Famously, however, he has no wins to show for it -- just reels and reels of video of how agonizingly close he's been.

Is Sunday at Oakmont the day that changes?

Garcia is climbing up the leaderboard in the final round because of shots like this one on the par-4 eighth where he holed out from a greenside bunker for an unlikely birdie:


After that birdie, Garcia moved to 2 under and just three behind leader Shane Lowry. 

And then seconds after making birdie, Garcia saved a little birdie:


andres gonzales, us open
USA Today Sports Images
Andres Gonzales' Twitter bio? "Half man, half amazing."

I've done a fair bit of ranking in the past week, whether it's Dustin Johnson's best shots of the week or Shane Lowry's biggest career moments.

But this ranking is too important and monumental for me to take on alone.

Let's take a look at some of the best beards in golf, in honor of U.S. Open leader Shane Lowry. But I need some help.

So here, presented without comment, are seven of the best beards in golf. It's up to you to rank them.


Our first entrant is Andres Gonzales, the representative for mustache-wearers worldwide:



Next is Boo Weekly, whose beard seems to have aged him several hundred years:


Then we have Graham Delaet, who probably has the most famous beard on the PGA Tour:


A social media favorite would be Andrew "Beef" Johnston, who's beard-game was so strong he was mistaken for Lowry:

Thomas Bjorn brought a beard worthy of the list to the 2014 Ryder Cup, bearing resemblance to another famous beard:
And then there's of course Shane Lowry. He gets bonus points not only for leading the U.S. Open but also for trash talking another competitor on this list:


Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram who has the best beard in golf!

June 19, 2016 - 3:49pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
@JordanSpieth on Twitter
Under Armour athlete Jordan Spieth showed support to fellow Under Armor athlete Steph Curry by wearing the much talked about "Curry 2s" to Oakmont on Sunday.

In case you missed it recently, two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry has been taking some heat for his new Under Armour signature "Curry 2" basketball shoes:


Some people have gone so far as to refer to them as "dad shoes." Others just wonder: "WHAT ARE THOSE?!?!?!?!"

With that in mind, it was fitting to see Under Armour athlete Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller pay tribute to Curry, who will play in Game 7 of the NBA Finals later today (and dads?) by wearing the Curry 2s to Oakmont for Sunday's final round -- on Father's Day:


Of course, Spieth wasn't going to sneak a tweet like that in without some hysterical banter from some fellow pros:




Surely Curry and Spieth are laughing all the way to the bank. 

June 19, 2016 - 3:16pm
Posted by:
Matt Craig
matthew.craig's picture
Bryson DeChambeau, us open
USA Today Sports Images
Bryson DeChambeau was luckily able to find a replacement shirt before teeing off for the final round of the U.S. Open.

Young Bryson DeChambeau is only 22 years old, and he has a lot to learn. He may have great control with his irons, but as we learned on Sunday morning he may need a little help controlling his other iron.

The reigning U.S. Amateur champion took to Snapchat to show off the giant hole he burned in his shirt while ironing it.

Thankfully it looks like he was able to find a replacement before his round, although if I was in charge of fashion at the tournament I would ban replacement shirt. You burn it, you play with it.

Maybe he was just trying to bring some of Russell Westbrook's signature "hole-in-the-shirt" style to the golf course? 

Big thanks to Jason Sobel of ESPN, who captured the Snapchat story and posted it on his Twitter: