ROCHESTER, N.Y. — No, Phil Mickelson was not breaking the principles on the PGA Championship.
However he would have been had he been taking part in on the PGA Tour.
The sequence occurred throughout Thursday’s first spherical at Oak Hill Nation Membership when an observer on Twitter — “Phil Mickelson Tracker” — seen that Mickelson switched the mannequin of his Callaway golf ball throughout play. The account tweeted: “Seen Phil has modified balls mid spherical. Was utilizing a Callaway that he lined himself with Sharpie, now utilizing the official triple monitor ball.”
To which Mickelson responded, at 10:18 p.m.: “There isn’t a one ball rule on the PGA.” He additionally added a smiling emoji.
Notably, there is a one-ball rule on the PGA Tour, they usually’ve penalized gamers due to it up to now. So why doesn’t the PGA Championship, run by the PGA of America? It’s really easy.
It’s their alternative.
The dialog right here includes the principles for the golf ball — and mannequin native guidelines. Let’s begin with the previous, which is definitely what everybody follows. A USGA story explains issues nicely when it writes:
“Typically, you’ll gap out with the identical ball you play from the teeing space. You possibly can at all times use a brand new ball when beginning a gap. You may as well substitute a unique ball any time you’re taking reduction, together with each free and penalty reduction. Except the one-ball native rule is in impact, the substituted ball could possibly be any model, make or mannequin. On the placing inexperienced, nevertheless, whenever you mark and carry your ball, you should change that very same ball to complete out the opening.”
Within the PGA Championship’s case, “the one-ball native rule” just isn’t in play. Let’s speak first about that rule. One other USGA story spells out Mannequin Native Rule G-4 when it says:
“If this rule is in impact, you should play with the identical model, make and mannequin of golf ball that you simply began the spherical with. Because of this in case you begin taking part in with a Titleist Professional V1, you should play a Titleist Professional V1 for the rest of the spherical and will not swap to a different model and even one other mannequin of Titleist golf ball.”
The penalties fluctuate — if a participant hits a shot with a unique mannequin of ball, they’re assessed a one-stroke penalty, or issues may worsen. In keeping with the principles, “when the participant discovers she or he has performed a ball in breach of this native rule, she or he should cease utilizing that ball earlier than taking part in from the following teeing space and full the spherical with a ball of the identical model and mannequin as used initially of the spherical; in any other case the participant is disqualified.”
However once more, that’s as much as the event. And that takes us to what mannequin native guidelines are.
In brief, they are often adopted. Or not. They advise. And the PGA of America goes with simply the rule for the golf ball.
“We principally play by the principles of golf, which let you change your ball in between holes,” Kerry Haigh, the chief championships officer of the PGA of America, advised a GOLF.com reporter on Friday morning. “And now any time you substitute a ball throughout play, you’re allowed to.”
On the PGA Tour, the one-ball rule has been enforced earlier than, maybe most memorably in 2019 on the Mayakoba Golf Traditional. There, Russell Henley was slapped with a whopping eight penalty strokes after he found that he had used two several types of Titleist ProV1x golf balls throughout the second spherical. (In an act of sportsmanship, Henley turned himself in — after he found the error whereas signing autographs after the spherical.)
Notably, the PGA of America and the PGA Tour differ on the implementation of one other mannequin native rule.
The foundations of golf now enable for distance-measuring units — i.e., vary finders — they usually’re in play on the PGA Championship. On Thursday, in reality, Mickelson’s caddie (and brother), Tim Mickelson, was seen utilizing one.
However mannequin native rule G-5 lets event committees prohibit them.
And the PGA Tour, together with the USGA, R&A and the Masters, implement that at occasions.
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