How Bryson DeChambeau And Scottie Scheffler Were Able To Receive Favorable Drops At The US Open

The Major winning pair both used the rules to their advantage at Pinehurst, with both drops occurring within minutes of one another

Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler strike shots with irons
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's no denying that players will try and use the Rules of Golf to their advantage, with bizarre and interesting incidents involving the rules seemingly being thrown up every week on the professional circuit.

At the US Open on Thursday, that's exactly what transpired, as two of the world's best, Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler, were involved in identical rules' incidents just minutes apart.

Coming into the week, Scheffler was listed as the favorite to pick up a third Major title at Pinehurst No.2, whilst DeChambeau was also listed amongst those who could challenge in North Carolina.

Starting with DeChambeau's incident, the American found himself three-under for his round as he came to the par 5 fifth, his 14th hole of the day. Throughout Thursday, the 30-year-old had missed just one fairway but, as he looked for another birdie, DeChambeau carved his tee shot right and into the trees.

It seemed that a bogey was on the cards for the former US Open winner but, in a huge slice of luck, the LIV Golfer was able to get free relief due to a pylon being in his way. Why was he granted relief, you may ask? Well, it was due to the ruling 'Temporary Immovable Obstructions (MLR F-23)'.

The 'Definition of TIO: A temporary immovable obstruction (TIO)' is "a structure that is temporarily placed on or next to the course, usually for a particular competition, and is fixed or does not meet the definition of movable obstruction. Examples of TIOs are temporary tents, scoreboards, grandstands, television towers and toilets.

"TIOs include any supporting guy wires connected to them, except when the Committee decides the supporting guy wires are to be treated as immovable obstructions or as temporary elevated lines or cables using Model Local Rule F-22. 

"The outermost edge of the TIO is used in determining whether a ball is under the TIO or whether the TIO is on the player’s line of sight between the ball and the hole. Lines or stakes may be used to define the edges of a TIO or to connect multiple TIOs into a single, larger TIO".

Essentially, because the temporary immovable obstruction was in the line of sight of DeChambeau, he was granted free relief, no nearer the hole, with the American able to take a fortunate drop that eventually led to a birdie, something which would have been unlikely if he hadn't got free relief.

Scottie Scheffler strikes a shot from the trees

Scheffler at the 16th hole during the first round of the US Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

So, what about Scheffler? Well, the tournament favorite was struggling on his Thursday, sitting one-over-par through 15 holes. Playing the treacherous 16th, the World No.1 pulled his tee shot left and, after it came to rest on the hardpan, he too was able to get relief in exactly the same way as DeChambeau.

According to the broadcast, Scheffler's line of sight was impeded by a Rolex clock, with the 27-year-old able to take a drop that opened the angle slightly more to the green. However, despite having an easier shot, it was still nigh-on impossible to hit the putting surface, as the American made a bogey to drop to two-over for his round.

It's unclear as to how much impact the luck will have on the end result but, sometimes, it pays to know the rules...

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