EDISON, N.J. – In the final analysis it didn’t make a difference, but for Jordan Spieth it added to an already heightened level of aggravation.
After hitting his second shot at the par-5 12th hole into a hazard short of the green, Spieth stepped on his golf ball while searching through the weeds.
He took a drop away from the hazard and made what he thought was a bogey-6. But on the next hole, a PGA Tour rules official approached him about the incident.
“My intentions were if I see it, I'm going to play it, and if I don't see it, I'm going to take my drop and play it as a water hazard,” said Spieth, who was informed after his round to add a stroke for violating Rule 18.2a. “Because my intention was possibly to still play it, it's a penalty and that was made clear, no matter what I declared to [caddie Michael Greller] ahead of time. I just wanted to be certain about it.”
The added stroke didn’t impact what turned out to be a short week. Spieth finished with a 3-over 73 and by five storkes missed the cut for the first time since The Players in May.
“Tough week,” said Spieth, who carded back-to-back over-par rounds for the first time since last year’s Tour Championship. “I'm definitely searching for answers. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do from here as far as how I get prepared for next week but I have some time to figure it out.”