‘The longest rough I’ve ever seen’: Pro whiffs out of rough at BMW Championship

Chris Kirk whiffed on his second shot on No. 7 during the third round of the BMW Championship Saturday at Olympia Fields.

Chris Kirk drew a brutal lie on No. 7 Saturday.

CBS Sports

It took three people to help Chris Kirk find his tee shot on the 7th hole Saturday.

That wasn’t because Kirk, blew his golf ball off the planet — it clearly skipped through a fairway bunker up to the top of the lip, just a few yards off the fairway.

No, it was because the rough at Olympia Fields is just swallowing golf balls left and right this week.

“This is some of the longest rough I’ve ever seen in my career,” CBS analyst Trevor Immelman said during Saturday’s third-round broadcast of the BMW Championship.

“It was last touched a week ago Sunday at four inches, and I’m still hearing it grow,” responded on-course reporter Dottie Pepper. “I’m giving it five-and-a-half-to-six [inches].”

From a camera angle of Kirk’s playing partner Max Homa’s lie just in the first cut, you can see how the second cut towers over the golf ball.

However, Kirk’s tee shot was not so fortunate, once he found his ball, his only play was a hack out. But even that was a struggle.

With the fairway only mere steps from him, Kirk took a full swing with a wedge, but in real-time, the ball never even seemed to emerge out of the rough.

“Might need four this time,” said Jim Nantz, responding to Pepper’s report of the initial search party to find the ball.

It was only during a slow-motion replay that viewers could see the ball pop out, obscured by a clump of grass, and come to rest back in the thick stuff, only three feet away.

While the ball still couldn’t be seen by CBS cameras, Kirk got his third on the green and two-putted for a bogey. However, that was actually enough to gain ground on Homa, who was leading by two shots at the start of the hole.

While Homa escaped the penalty of the second cut off the tee, he missed his approach right of the green and short-sided in the rough.

He tried to run a wedge up the slope to the green by setting up with the ball behind his back foot. But even the extreme setup wasn’t enough to prevent the thick Kentucky bluegrass from dampening the impact. His ball run halfway up the slope and came back down in the fairway.

From there he played his fourth on the green, but three-putted for a disastrous triple bogey to drop one behind the lead.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.