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Branden Grace takes penalty after drive lands in tree root

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Branden Grace likely couldn't replicate the shot if he tried.

Grace hit a drive Saturday on TPC Louisiana's par-4 13th hole that traveled 286 yards in the air before disappearing. 

"Uh oh," said CBS on-course reporter Dottie Pepper as Grace's ball flew straight into a tree root, just off the left side of the fairway and about knee height.

When Grace got to his ball, he found it lodged in the middle of the jagged cypress knee and underneath a detached piece of the root. He had no other option but to extract the ball and take a penalty drop.

"It looks like this is going to be an unplayable," said Craig Winter, the USGA's director of rules and amateur status, who is working for the broadcast this week. "... He'll drop within two [club lengths], no closer, and that will be a one-stroke penalty."

Added Pepper: "This is just plain old bad luck. You go to TopGolf, you might take dead aim on a little target like that. Light up the whole scoreboard."


Full-field scores from Zurich Classic of New Orleans


Luckily for Grace, his partner, Garrick Higgo, picked him up and birdied the hole. The pair went on to shoot 9-under 63 in the best-ball format and will enter Sunday at the Zurich Classic at 25 under.