Si Woo Kim was penalised when he took an inordinate amount of time to wait for his golf ball to fall into the hole playing at the RBC Heritage tournament. The South Korean ace appeared to hole a birdie putt from off the putting surface on the par-4 third hole, but a rules official penalised Kim one stroke after his ball dangled on the edge of the hole for over a minute before falling.
According to the Rules of Golf (Rule 13.3a),
“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. If the ball falls into the hole in this waiting time, the player has holed out with the previous stroke. If the ball does not fall into the hole in this waiting time: The ball is treated as being at rest. If the ball then falls into the hole before it is played, the player has holed out with the previous stroke, but gets one penalty stroke added to the score for the hole.”
Kim’s playing partner, American Matt Kuchar came to his defence arguing that Kim’s ball was still moving up until the point it dropped in the cup.
“It definitely exceeded time,” Kuchar told the official, “but as I go up there, I go, “This ball is moving.” You could tell it was moving. It took a long time … and it did fall in.”
“You can’t hit a moving ball, correct?” Kuchar added. To which the official responded: “But in this situation the rules are modified because you could argue that there comes a point in time where we’ve got to play that golf ball, and that’s why we put that time limit on it.”
“Wow,” Kuchar responded again. “I was certain it was – certainly I’m wrong.”
Kim wrote down par on the hole and eventually shot even-par 71 to remain at 4-under.
Kim hasn’t been enjoying his putting recently after breaking his putter at the recent US Masters.
Following a three-putt for bogey on the 14th hole and a chip that rolled well past the pin at 15, Kim took his frustrations out on his putter, jamming it into the ground and damaging the shaft at the 15th green. He then pulled out his 3-wood to use over the final four holes.