‘I just love that sportsmanship’: Scottie Scheffler’s rules gesture helps Jason Day
Jason Day was honest. He was going to hit another tee shot.
And Scottie Scheffler was honest, too.
He told Day he could hit up ahead.
During quarterfinal play on Saturday at the WGC-Match Play, sportsmanship was all around. In the end, Scheffler won the 429-yard, par-4 3rd at Austin Country Club, but a moment on the tee box may be remembered more.
Day had teed off first and hooked his ball left on the dogleg left. He watched it for a second. He pounded his 3-wood into the ground. He lowered his head.
“Uh-oh,” analyst Curt Byrum said on the NBC broadcast. “He hates this one. Headed left, and that’s down in the penalty area left of the fairway there. That’s probably the worst swing I’ve seen him make here in a couple days. Not even close. Looks like he quit rotating on that one. Stopped, the hands took over.”
Day walked off, and Scheffler followed with a ball down the fairway. Here’s where it got good.
Day wasn’t clear if his ball had crossed a red-marked penalty area around where the hole dog-legged. He was going to hit a provisional ball. He was stopped. Scheffler and his caddie, Ted Scott, had watched it. They had been standing off to the right when Day hit his first ball and had a better vantage point. They walked up to Day as he was about to hit his provisional.
They said his ball had crossed.
They told him to hit about 200 yards up.
NBC mics picked up a part of their conversation:
“I didn’t see the line,” Day said. “I was like, looking down.”
“I feel like it was over by the …” Scheffler said.
“It at least crossed the creek,” Scott said.
Day picked up his ball.
“So Scheffler basically told him, on our angle, we could see it cross the line up there so that was really good sportsmanship on Scottie Scheffler’s part,” Byrum said on the broadcast. “He was able to go up and drop where we saw.”
And he did. From there, Day hit short of the green, and Scheffler hit his second to 17 feet. When Day didn’t chip in on his fourth shot, he conceded the hole, and they walked to the 4th all square.
“I just love that sportsmanship, Curt,” on-course analyst Notah Begay said on the broadcast.
“I talked to Scottie about that, and he’s like, yeah, Jason had his head down, never saw the ball cross the hazard. And he’s like, I just went up and said, you don’t need to tee it again, just go ahead and hit another one.”