The good news for Thomas Peters? Much of the golfing world’s attention is focused on the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow. Bad news? The internet is still there.
Without it, this Pieters gaffe during the French Open for the DP World Tour at Le Golf National outside Paris might have gone largely unnoticed. But thanks to the watchful eye of Golf Twitter, every single one of your mistakes travels to social media and is instantly amplified.
However, this foul won’t loom large at the end of Peters’ second round thanks to a strange referee. First, watch what happens in the fifth third, where Peters addresses the ball, puts the racket back in and appears to stop the middle of the hit, essentially cutting the hit:
At first glance, it looked as though Peters had actually made a knockout punch, which you might assume counts as a hit. But according to a few people who saw what happened live, Peters called the bases official and explained that he was being distracted by someone in the crowd and tried to stop a stroke, accidentally hitting a 35-foot bird about three feet in the operation. Here is the full clip:
The rules official agreed with Peters, allowing the 30-year-old Belgian to exchange his ball and replay it. He has two goals for a tie and is currently in a tie for fifth place.
According to Rule 13.1d, which was among the major changes to the new rules of golf in 2019, this situation was properly handled:
There are two specific rules for the ball or marker of the ball that moves when the green is placed.
(1) There is no penalty for causing a foul to move the ball. There is no penalty if a player, opponent, or other player in a hits game accidentally moves a player’s ball or ball marker onto the green.
– Replace the ball in its original position (which, if not known, must be estimated)
– Mark the ball to mark that original spot.
Obviously confusing is that Peters made a save and was clearly ready to try and stroke it. But by claiming it was accidental, and the official concurred with that claim, he was allowed to return the shot. Incidentally, the fact that Pieters did not split his racket in two and was able to laugh at it would lead you to believe that it was, in fact, an accident. However, there is a peculiar rule case in all respects, which is very attached to the brand in golf.