TULSA, Okla. – The unique sand in the bunkers has been a topic of conversation this week at Southern Hills, and a journey through one of those bunkers has Kramer Hickok making the rounds on social media.
Hickok found the greenside bunker at the par-4 12th, and then he found it again, and his ball hit his shoe, then he remained in that bunker once more. What happened next turned a miserable trip to the beach into a satisfying bogey and a great story.
When the Rules of Golf were updated in 2019, one of the changes was the removal of a rule that penalized a player if their ball hit them on accident.
Full-field scores from the PGA Championship
The new rule – Rule 11.1 Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Person or Outside Influence – doesn’t penalize the player for such an occurrence.
Rule 11.1a states that if a player’s ball in motion accidentally hits any person or outside influence:
- There is no penalty to any player.
- This is true even if the ball hits the player, the opponent or any other player or any of their caddies or equipment.
The rule continues to clarify that the ball must be played as it lies after accidentally hitting the player, which was the case with Hickok. His shot nestled in a deep footprint, from which he still could not escape the bunker. But that third sand shot made everything OK.