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Moore assessed undeserved penalty stroke at Wells Fargo

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Almost one year after an undeserving penalty stroke cost Webb Simpson the Zurich Classic title, Ryan Moore had a similar misfortune in his second round at Quail Hollow.

What should have been a tap-in par from 10 inches at the par-4 11th turned into bogey when Moore addressed his ball and before taking his stroke, the ball moved.

“I thought that was the whole point of the rule change after Webb Simpson’s incident last year,” Moore said. “I thought was to alleviate that because I certainly did not make the ball move and I thought that was the whole point of the rule change.”

The Rules of Golf did change at the start of 2012. Kind of.

Rule 18-2b – the Ball Moving After Address rule – was amended at the start of 2012 to state that a player may be excused from penalty “if their ball moves after it has been addressed when it is known or virtually certain that they did not cause the ball to move. For example, if it is a gust of wind that moves the ball after it has been addressed, there is no penalty and the ball is played from its new position.”

When Simpson called a penalty shot on himself in 2011, it was a windy day. Friday at Quail Hollow was still and silent.

“If a wind or an outside agency like a bee or a fly had caused his ball to move, we can get him out if he’s virtually certain he didn’t cause it,” PGA Tour rules official Steve Rintoul said. “But in this case we’ve got no wind, we’ve got nothing else down there and the decision specifically refers to gravity.”

Moore is in sixth place after a second-round 70. He’s one round closer to the weekend but no closer to understanding the Ball Moving After Address rule.

“It’s unfortunate that they somehow changed the rules without changing it. I don’t know how they did that.”