'Lucky Idiot' - Wrong Ruling Spares Thomas Pieters' Blushes At French Open

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good...

Thomas Pieters smiling at the 2022 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thomas Pieters, who was involved in a bizarre putting green rules incident during the second round of the French Open, has explained the series of events that led to him wrongly being allowed to replay a shot under no penalty at Le Golf National

The Belgian misjudged an attempt to back out of a lengthy birdie putt on the par-5 3rd, inadvertently nudging the ball about five feet in front of him to the bemusement of playing partners, pundits, fans, and, it turns out, two rules officials. 

Controversy and confusion reigned when he was then given the chance to retake the original putt without penalty under Rule 13.1d, as it was deemed the 30-year-old played the shot accidentally, but Pieters took to social media in the aftermath of a second-round 70 to admit he was a little fortunate to be treated so leniently.

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He tweeted: "So kid coughed in my backstroke. I tried to stop…didn’t. Called a local referee who called another referee who both deemed it not a penalty. That decision is final. Got told after I finished it should have been a penalty but original ruling stands. #Luckyidiot."

Pieters eventually two-putted the hole for par and started the third round 10 behind runaway overnight leader Rasmus Hojgaard. However, the Dane got off to a nightmare start on Saturday, carding a rare quintuple bogey on the par-3 2nd, leaving the door open for Pieters and the chasing pack to close the gap and set up a thrilling final day of action at the 2018 Ryder Cup venue.

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x