AUSTIN, Texas – Adding to the drama of an eventful day at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Tyrrell Hatton lost on the first extra hole of a three-man playoff because of a rules infraction.
According to Mark Russell, a vice president of rules and competitions for the PGA Tour, Hatton moved his ball before putting out for par on the first playoff hole and didn’t move the ball back to its original position.
Although a new local rule this year allows for a player to accidentally move his golf ball without penalty, the player must replace the ball. Since Hatton didn’t replace his ball, he was penalized two strokes, made a double bogey-6 and was eliminated from the playoff.
Under this year’s format for the Match Play a playoff with three or more players uses stroke-play rules, which meant he received a two-stroke penalty. A two-player playoff, however, uses match play rules, which would have been a loss of hole for the Englishman, but either option would have kept him from advancing.
Charles Howell III won the playoff on the fifth extra hole, defeating Rafa Cabrera Bello and advancing to the round of 16.