July 14, 2012
Lake Orion, Mich. –The Rules define a stroke
as “the forward movement of the club with the intention to striking at, and
moving the ball.” During the second round of the U.S. Senior Open, two players
attempted to strike their ball and missed it while another one hit his ball
twice in one attempt.
On the 10th hole, after playing his second shot while
standing in the lake alongside the fairway, Tom Watson’s ball came to rest in
heavy rough alongside the putting green. Watson attempted to hit the ball, but it
didn’t move. His second attempt reached the green and he two-putted for double
Larry Nelson left his putt for a birdie two on the 13th hole
1 inch short of the hole. He walked up and quickly tried to tap the ball into
the hole, but missed the ball. Since he had intended to strike the ball, the
While both of these misses counted, Robert Fulton, not only
didn’t miss his ball, he made contact twice during one stroke from the rough
beside the 15 green. Rule 14-4
says that when a player accidentally makes contact with the ball more than once
in the course of a stroke, the stroke counts and the player adds one penalty
stroke. It doesn’t matter if the ball is struck two, three or even four times; the
player only receives a single penalty stroke. Fulton went on to double bogey
All of these incidents can be embarrassing to the player. The
irony of Fulton’s
double hit is that this is the first U.S. Senior Open for T.
C. Chen who had one of the most
famous double hits in the 1985 U.S. Open just down the road at Oakland Hills
Country Club. You can see that video of that famous incident here.
For more information
on the Rules of Golf, go to the Rules of Golf page at http://www.usga.org or watch the Rules of Golf videos at http://www.usga-rules.com/.
Written by John Van
der Borght, manager of Rules communications for the USGA.