It’s all fun and games until the rule book comes into play.
Professional golfer Lee Hodges has had himself a very bad outing at the ongoing PGA Championship. He was tied for 67th place in the tournament with an ugly 10-over par at the end of play on Saturday. Interestingly, Hodges was tied for 67th place with a number of golf’s biggest names, including Justin Thomas and Phil Mickelson.
The good news for Hodges was that, despite the abysmal showing thus far for the 27-year-old golfer, he had himself a genuine moment of virality after an otherwise innocuous par saving putt turned into a meme-worthy stunner of a play:
Waiting…waiting…waiting…still waiting…waiting…yeah, still….waiting…
— Golf on CBS ⛳ (@GolfonCBS) May 20, 2023
The putt, which you can see clearly takes well over half a minute from the moment Hodges hits the ball to the moment the ball finally falls into the cup, was quite the moment for Hodges in an otherwise forgetful event.
That moment was fleeting, however, as those pesky rules rained on Hodge’s brief parade.
As CBS Sports noted, Hodges originally carded a four on the par-4, but had to change it to a five after he apparently ran afoul of golf’s by-laws.
Indeed, a glance at the United States Golf Association rule book revealed that there is actually an entire section of rules governing what to do in a “ball overhanging hole” situation.
Rule 13.3a stated: “The player is allowed a reasonable time to reach the hole and ten more seconds to wait to see whether the ball will fall into the hole.”
“Reasonable time” is certainly not clear-cut. Hodges’ putt does take 34 seconds, from the moment he hits the ball to the moment it falls into the cup. Given the additional “ten more seconds” that Rule 13.3a denoted, is 24 seconds too long of a time to have approached the hole by?
One possible reason that Hodges may have taken his sweet time approaching the golf ball?
Fellow golfer Jordan Spieth, who was playing alongside Hodges, told him that the “Titleist” logo was still wobbling ever so slightly, suggesting the ball was still moving, per CBS Sports.
To Hodges’ chagrin, however, the rules actually do account for his specific circumstances.
Rule 13.3a continued: If the ball falls into the hole after those additional 10 seconds (but before officially being played), the player gets a penalty stroke added to their score, hence taking Hodges from a four to a five on the hole.
The PGA Championship continues through Sunday at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. Hodges, for all of his controversy on Saturday, likely won’t be competing to win it.
As of this writing, American Brooks Koepka is leading the pack at 6-under.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.