PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Aaron Baddeley’s day was already going in the wrong direction when he dropped his third ball on the par-3 17th hole after rinsing his tee shot and the ensuring attempt from the drop area.
The Australian reloaded for a third time, hit his fifth shot to 18 feet from where he two-putted for what he thought was a quadruple bogey-7. From there things only got worse and not just because he bogeyed the final hole.
Officials reviewed the second drop and determined Baddeley had violated Rule 20-2, which states a player must hold a ball at shoulder height and at arm’s length when taking a drop, and he was told to add a shot to his score on the 17th hole.
“It was a little bit bent instead of straight, which was like 4 or 5 inches difference,” said Baddeley, who signed for a 77 and finished the week at 11 over par. “I wasn’t stressed. I knew I was missing the cut. I didn’t know that rule. I didn’t know your arm had to be perfectly straight. I made sure it was shoulder height when I dropped it. That’s what I was thinking.”
Baddeley reviewed the video footage of the drop with Tour rules official Stephen Cox before signing his scorecard or leaving the scoring area, which would have resulted in a disqualification.
“We both went and looked at it and it was fairly clear he’d dropped it incorrectly so he added one stroke,” Cox said.