Jon Rahm came to Hideki Matsuyama’s defense on Friday at the BMW Championship and helped prevent a possible penalty against the former Masters champ.
Matsuyama hit his tee shot on the par-3 seventh right of the green. His ball came to rest precariously above a bunker. As Matsuyama prepared to hit his second shot from the awkward lie, after taking a couple of practice swings from a distance, his ball tumbled into the bunker.
Matsuyama and his caddie discussed the matter with a Tour rules official to determine if Matsuyama caused the ball to move. Rahm, his playing competitor in Round 2, entered the conversation and assured the rules official that Matsuyama did nothing to put the ball in motion.
No penalty was assessed and Matsuyama was able to play his second shot from his ball’s new position in the bunker, from which he got up and down.
After making birdie on four of his first six holes, Matsuyama parred the seventh and eighth holes and then bogeyed the ninth. He made the turn at 4 under par, four off the lead.