NASSAU, Bahamas – Strange rule violations are kind of golf’s thing, but even by PGA Tour standards, Sunday’s miscue for Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson felt next level.
Spieth and Stenson were playing in the day’s first group off at the Hero World Challenge when they walked to the ninth tee as they had all week. That’s when things got weird.
“We went down to our balls and the rules official said, did you hit off the right tee box? We looked back and we saw that there was another one forward and left,” Stenson said.
Officials moved the ninth tee up to a forward teeing area and used the back teeing area, which is where the tees had been all week, for the tee box to the adjacent 17th hole.
Stenson and Spieth were forced to go back to the proper teeing area for the ninth hole and play again. They were also penalized two shots. Spieth made a triple bogey-8 and Stenson made a double bogey.
“I actually didn't think we were going to get penalized because it's a charity event, but then I realized there's world ranking involved and all that,” Spieth said. “The frustrating part for us now is that every other group they're making sure to tell them, but for us they didn't. It obviously didn't matter for us, which is fortunate I think for those guys.”
Stenson closed with a 72 and was alone in 19th place in the 20-man field, five shots ahead of Spieth who finished 20th after a final-round 76.
“My question [to the rules official] was if we could just finish 19th and 20th and leave after 9, but that wasn't an option, either,” Stenson said.
“Yeah, he did,” Spieth confirmed. “He asked them if we could just go to the airport and I said I'm down.”