Bizarre Rules Situations Arise At Players Championship

Matthias Schwab and Nick Taylor were dealt very odd rulings just 24 hours apart from one another

A golf ball in a golf cart and a golf ball in a wooden hollow
(Image credit: Twitter: @PGATOUR)

Golf is a weird and wonderful game and, when you think you've seen it all, something comes along that makes you question what it is about this sport! At The Players Championship, viewers were treated to two bizarre rules situations just a day apart.

The incidents involve the players Matthias Schwab and Nick Taylor, who both found their golf balls ending up in rather odd places. For Schwab, he somehow found a golf cart that was being used by Sky Sport Austria reporters that were following him, whilst Taylor found a partially hollowed-out wooden piling that surrounds the green.

We begin with Schwab who, on Thursday, pulled his second shot to the par 5 second hole. Bouncing on the cart path, it came to rest in the buggy of three Sky Sport Austria reporters that were following the 28-year-old.

Florian Bauer, one of the journalists on the cart, stated: “The ball jumped from the ground, got into our cart, and then it stayed right in here and then when I looked at the ball, I know the mark, the signing of Matthias Schwab, and I go, ‘Hey, it’s Matthias’ ball'. So it was pretty funny.”

From there, Schwab put a tee underneath the cart where his golf ball was and, under Rule 15.2a(2), he was entitled “relief when (the) ball is in or on movable obstruction anywhere on course except putting green." It also states: “The player may take free relief by lifting the ball, removing the movable obstruction and dropping the original ball or another ball in this relief area (see Rule 14.3).” 

After this, the Austrian dropped the ball, with it somehow coming to rest directly below his hand, a peculiar scenario given he was dropping on concrete. “The craziest part of the Matthias Schwab drop on 2 was when he dropped it on the cart path on a downslope. It hits the ground, starts bouncing and then it comes to rest exactly where he dropped it. It was wizardry. I’ve never seen anything like it," explained Bauer: 

“I mean, I’ve never seen a ball being dropped on a cart path and not run away. But it did. It stayed there.” So, what happened after the drop? Well, Schwab was then given relief from the cart path, under rule 16.1a, with the Austrian ending up with a par after the drama.

Schwab hits a tee shot in a black shirt

Schwab would make the cut and finish at one-under for the tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)

That moves us to Taylor who, 24 hours after the drop with Schwab, found his golf ball in an equally strange position, with his bunker shot at the fourth hole hopping over the green and finishing in a hollowed out wooden piling.

With the ball around a foot below ground level, it would be impossible to hit and, after assessing the scenario, the Canadian decided on a drop after calling an unplayable.

After the drop, he found the green, but two putted for a double bogey. In the end, Taylor would miss the two-over-par cut, with the 34-year-old finishing five-over and three shots back of the weekend.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x