KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. Turning over the wrong leaf
Carl Pettersson’s final round got off to a rugged start when he was assessed a two-stroke penalty for moving a loose impediment in a water hazard, leading to a double bogey when he initially thought he had made a par.
Pettersson hit his opening tee shot into a lateral water hazard but was able to play the ball. Before playing the shot, Pettersson asked an official if his club was allowed to touch the grass in the hazard. The rules official, Brad Gregory, correctly told Pettersson he could touch the grass but not ground his club in the hazard.
During his backswing, Pettersson’s club touched the grass (no penalty) but moved a loose leaf, violating the rules. Pettersson was immediately informed of the possible violation and, after a video review, was informed of the two-stroke penalty on the fourth hole.
“I knew I could touch the grass. I just didn’t think about the leaves. I didn’t think twice about it when I hit the shot,” said Pettersson, who wound up tied for third, his best finish in a major.
“If I would have lost by one or two, it would have been tough. But still, I mean, I broke the rule so we play under the rules of golf. Sure it (hurts) but what can you do?”
• EIGHT MEN UP: Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson locked up the eight automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team Sunday.
Captain Davis Love III will have three weeks before he makes his four captain’s picks for the matches, which will be played at Mediinah Country Club outside Chicago in late September.
The next four on the points list are Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler.
It didn’t happen again for Tiger Woods on the weekend. He wasn’t a factor in the final round, done in by the 4-over par 40 he shot on the front nine Saturday. He needed a start Sunday like Ian Poulter’s five-birdie run out of the gate. Instead, Woods couldn’t generate any momentum and completed his fourth straight year without a major championship victory.
Interestingly, Woods said he made a mistake in how he approached Saturday’s round, dropping his guard in a major.
“I came out with probably the wrong attitude (Saturday),” Woods said. “I was too relaxed and tried to enjoy it and that’s not how I play. I play intense, full systems go. That cost me.”
Why did he change?
“I don’t know,” Woods said. “It was a bad move on my part.”
• It will be interesting to see if Kiawah Island Golf Resort bids on another PGA Championship in the future. The players were consistent in their praise of the course and the setup and it looked spectacular on television.
But officials acknowledged there were serious traffic and parking problems that caused delays of up to four hours getting fans out Saturday after a thunderstorm. That will be a huge stumbling block for potential future events.
• When Ian Poulter birdied the first five holes Sunday, he briefly got within a stroke of the lead but it didn’t last. Still, it was a dazzling display and briefly conjured up images of how he’d react to winning a major.
“I guess it was a dream start,” Poulter said. “It was a great shame. It’s just a shame I couldn’t quite finish it off.”
THEY SAID IT
“If I was playing with him, I wasn’t going to wear it. You know who ‘him’ is.” – Rory McIlroy when asked about wearing a red shirt on Sunday, Tiger Woods’ typical outfit.
“We have some of the most loyal fans in golf when you hear what they had to go through. They had to park a long ways away, they had to take a big bus ride in and you walk this difficult golf course and you don’t get to see much action. We’re very appreciative of what the fans go through here because it’s not the easiest venue for them to watch and observe.” – Phil Mickelson.