Kuchar questions rules after Memorial Tournament controversy

By Sports Desk May 31, 2019

Matt Kuchar has defended himself after critics, including Jack Nicklaus, claimed he tried to bend the rules during the Memorial Tournament on Thursday.

Kuchar's drive onto the fairway on the 17th landed on the edge of a pre-made pitch mark, which both the American and PGA rules official Robby Ware agreed was already in place.

Under current rules, golfers are entitled to a free drop from their own pitch mark, but have to play the ball as it lies if it lands in one that had been made previously.

However, Kuchar believed he could have been entitled to some relief, and called over another official for a second opinion, even jokingly asking for a third after the initial decision was upheld, with playing partner Rickie Fowler standing by the officials.

Kuchar eventually parred the hole and stood firm in response to criticism he received on social media after the incident.

"I guess it's not a new embedded ball if it breaks new ground," Kuchar told a press conference after returning to the clubhouse with a one-over 73.

"When looking at the replay I saw in the [camera], it looked like there was potential that it might have broken new turf.

"I heard it bounced in there and thought there was potential that it might had broken ground again. That was my question, was that a new pitch, is that a new potential embedded ball. 

"The rules officials, they know the rules a lot better than I do. I thought there was potential that it might have broken additional ground and is that a new embedded ball. I'm not sure, and that's why we have the rules officials.

"I'm certainly satisfied with making a [par] there. I like to think things work out the way they're supposed to. Making four there is all I can ask for."

Kuchar has been no stranger to controversy in recent months, having apologised in February for not agreeing to pay a temporary caddie in full after his victory in the Mayakoba Golf Classic in November.

Tournament host Nicklaus told CBS: "That is the most amusing thing I've ever seen someone try to get a ruling on."

Related items

  • Open champion Lowry withdraws from St. Jude Invitational Open champion Lowry withdraws from St. Jude Invitational

    Open champion Shane Lowry has withdrawn from the St. Jude Invitational.

    Lowry ended his wait for a maiden major title with a stunning performance at Royal Portrush, winning by six strokes.

    Following his achievement at the links course in Northern Ireland, the 32-year-old has opted to skip this week's PGA Tour event.

    Lowry's win saw him move up to 18th in the FedEx Cup standings but, by withdrawing from the field at TPC Southwind, he forfeits the chance to move further up the leaderboard.

    Brooks Koepka, who finished tied fourth at Portrush, leads the way going into the St. Jude.

    Dustin Johnson won by six strokes in Memphis last year.

  • Player expects McIlroy to learn from Open disappointment Player expects McIlroy to learn from Open disappointment

    Gary Player is backing Rory McIlroy to bounce back from his desperately disappointing display at the Open Championship, believing the Northern Irishman will learn from the experience.

    Much was expected of home hopeful McIlroy at Royal Portrush last week, but a quadruple bogey at the first set the tone for a miserable opening round as he carded a 79.

    Despite a recovery on Friday, the four-time major champion fell one stroke short of the cut line and bowed out before the weekend.

    But while a lot has been said and written about McIlroy's dismal start and end to his first 18 - finishing with a triple bogey at the last - Player sees another lesson in the day's play.

    McIlroy three-putted from inside five feet for a double bogey at 16 and, had he kept his composure, victory would still have been a possibility, according to three-time Open champion Player.

    Regardless, the South African sees McIlroy, still just 30, soon ending a wait for a major title that goes back to 2014.

    "When you're as prominent a player as Rory and something happens, everybody is quick to be critical, as people are in life," Player told Omnisport, speaking at The Berenberg Gary Player Invitational.

    "He learned a very good lesson, because he didn't buckle down on two short putts and missed them and then ended up missing the cut by one shot.

    "If he'd made the cut, he could have gone on to win the tournament because you're talking about one of the three most talented men in the world today. I'm a big Rory fan.

    "He made a mistake, so what? Is there anybody who plays golf that hasn't? No, I've never seen that happen.

    "He's won four majors already, which is remarkable. He just won the Canadian Open with 20-something [22] under par.

    "People are very quick to give an opinion. He'll go on to win a lot more majors and tournaments. He's tremendously talented."

  • Herman credits president after coming up trumps in Kentucky Herman credits president after coming up trumps in Kentucky

    Jim Herman revealed president Donald Trump should take some credit for his second PGA Tour victory at the Barbasol Championship.

    Herman had only made the cut in three of 19 tournaments this year but shot a magnificent third round of 62 on Saturday to put himself firmly in contention. 

    The 41-year-old, who received a call from the United States president during the event, went on to seal a one-shot victory in Kentucky after taking Trump's advice to switch putters.

    Herman, a former assistant professional at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey, says the pep talks have helped to drive him on during his career.

    "He motivates me and puts me in a good spot." said the Cincinnati native.

    "I don't know what it is about him, but he gets me going in the right direction with golf.

    "I took his advice and put a new putter in play. Couldn't have putted any better this week."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.