ASSAU, Bahamas (Reuters) — Jordan Spieth has had one of those weeks.
His third round came to an end when his ball shifted on the 18th green and he forgot to replace it before putting. A two-stroke penalty was imposed as a result of this. With rounds of 71-72-75, he was in last place heading into Sunday’s final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club.
Then, in the first group off, he was embroiled in a weird penalty scenario with Henrik Stenson.
“That’s something I’ve never experienced before,” Spieth added.
Follow along with me.
They naturally teed off when they reached the par-5 ninth hole. They teed off from the tee markers marking the teeing area for the par-3 17th hole, which was a problem. Yes, there is a vast teeing area that houses both the ninth and 17th hole tee boxes.
The 17th hole tee box had been moved overnight to where the ninth hole tee box had been during the first three rounds. In the final round, the tee box for the ninth hole was shifted up. Several signs were placed around the course to advise the players, and tee sheets were updated with new yardages.
Spieth and Stenson were notified of their infringement on the ninth hole’s fairway. They went back to the tee box and struck the ball from the proper tee. A two-shot penalty was imposed on each player. Spieth and Stenson would have been disqualified if they had teed off on the 10th hole.
“After finishing hole No. 8, we kept our heads down and walked to the 9 tee box, which we did on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and laid the ball down and hit some beautiful tee shots,” Stenson said. “Then we went down to the balls when we got down to the hole.” Did you hit off the right tee box, the rules official inquired? And we were like, “Well, yes, kind of,” until we turned around and saw that there was another one in front of us who had walked away.
“Obviously, they altered things around today and put 17 on the 9th tee box, and 9 was in a different spot, and we didn’t pay attention since we were first out and just kept going.”
Spieth and Stenson made a comedy routine out of their post-round interview and had a nice time laughing about the issue.
“I didn’t think we’d get fined since it’s a charity tournament,” Spieth said, laughing, “but then I discovered there were world ranking (points) involved and all that.”
“My query was if we could just finish 19th and 20th and depart after 9, but that wasn’t a possibility either,” Stenson stated.
When questioned if it was a simple error, Stenson reacted angrily.
“That offends me because it makes you believe I’m incredibly stupid,” he explained.
Spieth was perplexed from the start.
“We got up there and I teed it up first and it wasn’t my tee, so Michael (Greller, his caddie) told me it wasn’t my tee.” Then Henrik struck. Then I parked too much in front of him, and he told me to back up.”
“A little note on the tee box would have been helpful,” Stenson continued, “and I’ll make sure I tee it up on the appropriate tee box in the future because I don’t believe I’ve ever done this before.” Hopefully, neither have you.
“Everyone have a wonderful Christmas, and we’ll see you in the new year.”