How Tyrrell Hatton cleverly used the rules to his advantage at the CJ Cup

Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton hits his tee shot on the 5th hole at Shadow Creek Golf Course on Friday.

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Tyrrell Hatton’s ball landed in a bunker. 

Jon Rahm’s giant grass divot then landed on Hatton’s ball. 

The classic giant-grass-divot-on-your-ball-while-it’s-in-a-bunker shot. 

“We thought this game was hard enough,” an announcer said on the Golf Channel. 

Hatton’s second shot on the 301-yard, par-4 11th hole at Shadow Creek Golf Course fell short of the green and in a bunker on Friday during the second round of the CJ Cup. The first shot of Rahm, his playing partner, fell in the grass a few yards behind. Rahm hit his ball on the fringe. He hit the giant chunk of grass on top of Hatton’s ball, too. 

Hatton and his caddie, Mick Donaghy, called over a rules official. 

According to “Examples Where Player Is Allowed to Restore Conditions Altered by the Actions of Another Person or Outside Influence” in the interpretations section of the Rules of Golf, “examples of when restoration is allowed include when: a player’s lie or area of intended stance or intended swing is worsened when another player’s stroke creates a divot or deposits sand, soil, grass or other material on or around his or her ball.”

“In all such situations, the player is allowed to restore conditions without penalty, but is not required to do so.”

Hatton did. 

Hatton picked up the divot and handed it to Donaghy. Donaghy raked around the ball. Hatton then asked the official if he could pick up his ball, he was told he could and did. Donaghy raked around that area. Hatton then asked where he should place his ball back, he was told where and did. 

Hatton painfully smiled, took two practice swings and hit it out to within 8 feet of the hole. He missed the putt and bogeyed the hole. 

The classic giant-grass-divot-on-your-ball-while-it’s-in-a-bunker shot. 

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Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor