All the talk at the French Open really should have been about 21-year-old Rasmus Hojgaard’s outrageous lead, but, as they are prone to, it was the rules of golf that dominated the focus after a bizarre incident for Thomas Pieters that was became Crazier than the second day.
It started with the Belgian leaving a 35-foot birdie attempt some 28 feet away, then saw a local umpire allow Pieters to replace him without penalty, and then ended with the head umpire telling him he essentially shouldn’t have been mulliganed. . ”, But since an official had given him an incorrect decision, then he would not be sanctioned. And they say the rules of golf are merciless?
The Ryder Cup player was on the third green of Le Golf National and in the process of swinging his putter when a spectator coughed loudly. Pieters tried to stop his shot, but didn’t apply the brakes in time with his ball dribbling forward.
Pieters called a referee and was informed that since he “accidentally hit it” he could take it again. Relieved, Pieters made two putts for par and moved on.
However, when Mark Litton arrived at the clubhouse, the chief umpire was waiting to say that the umpire had not been correct and that he simply should have continued from where his ball left off. However, the round of 70 would stand due to guidance in the R&A rule book that if an umpire has wrongly advised a player to cancel a stroke, the score with the repeated stroke counts.
No disrespect to Pieters, who was inevitably portrayed as a villain in certain sections of social media but was in fact not to blame, but you can only hope he doesn’t win by a punch on Sunday.
At five under par, the world number 33 might seem conveniently placed in a tie for seventh place, but he is actually 10 shots behind Rasmus, the young Dane who after a 65 is 15 under and six up. from his closest pursuer, Frenchman Paul Barjon. .