How to avoid Tom Brady’s rules confusion from The Match II at Medalist

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Tom Brady had a roller coaster of a round at Medalist.

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In a foursome packed with star power, Tom Brady rose to the top and arguably outshone them all at Medalist on Sunday. From his disastrous start to his miraculous hole-out and subsequent pants ripping to his unlikely back-nine resurgence, Brady commanded attention throughout the day during The Match II.

But one moment that got overlooked (relative to the rest of his round at least) was on the 5th hole when Brady found the water with his tee shot. At this point in the round, the QB looked miserable. His round got off to the worst start imaginable and the naysayers were quick to doubt his 8 handicap. To top it off, when he walked up to the hazard for his drop, he asked the broadcast crew what the procedure was for his drop. This didn’t help his case in the court of public opinion.

And yes, it was unusual for Brady to not know the procedure for taking a drop, but for a moment, let’s look at this objectively. Each and every week on Tour, players call in rules officials when they need to take a drop — and they play the sport for a living! Perhaps Brady was merely double-checking the ruling as his every move was sure to be scrutinized. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and he actually doesn’t know the rule. In that case, here’s a quick refresher, Tom.

According to Rule 17.1d, you have three options when your ball is in a red penalty area.

1. Stroke-and-distance relief – The player may play the original ball or another ball from where the previous stroke was made.

2. Back-on-the-line relief – The player may drop the original ball or another ball in a relief area that is based on a reference line going straight back from the hole through the estimated point where the original ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area.

3. Lateral relief – When the ball last crossed the edge of a red penalty area, the player may drop the original ball or another ball in this lateral relief area, no closer to the hole.

See the diagram below more.

USGA

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and is the staff’s self-appointed development tour “expert.”