CROMWELL, Conn. – Golf’s lengthy list of peculiar rules violations added another victim on Thursday, as Cameron Tringale was involved in an unusual ruling during the opening round of the Travelers Championship.
Playing the par-5 sixth hole, Tringale was about to hit a putt when he realized the ball had moved between the time he placed it on the green and the time he addressed it.
“I was looking at the hole; I always look while I set the putter down, so when I looked down it had moved,” Tringale explained. “It was just a third of a revolution. The line on my ball was just tilted a little bit forward.”
If he had replaced the ball to its original spot, it would have been just a one-stroke penalty, but because he thought the ball moved before addressing it, he didn’t replace it. That meant it was a two-stroke violation.
There would have been no penalty if the ball had been moved by an outside agency, such as wind. But because Tringale was not looking at it when it apparently moved, he couldn’t be 100 percent sure that it was moved by an outside agency.
It wasn’t until after the round that Tringale was informed that when there is inconclusive evidence on matters such as this, guilt is always assumed.
A score of 5 on the hole became a double-bogey 7 instead, with his final total adjusted from 3-under 67 to 1-under 69.
“The rule is the rule, but it’s just poorly written,” he said. “It’s just not specific enough. It’s very vague.”
Tringale wasn’t completely surprised by what had taken place, because of the nature of the greens.
“The greens are bumpy,” he added. “They’re poa annua. You can set it up one way and the green can just pull it a little bit. That’s what happened.”