PGA Tour Player Putts Into Water Before Chipping In And Withdrawing From Event

Maverick McNealy may have produced one of the most bizarre moments of 2023

Maverick McNealy strikes his tee shot and watches it in the air
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf is a bizarre and humbling game at the best of times, with the ability to go from hero-to-zero just one shot away. At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, that was the case with Maverick McNealy, as the American did something that we rarely see, especially on the professional circuit.

Sitting near the cut line, McNealy would need a strong finish to make the weekend but, with playing conditions extremely difficult at TPC Scottsdale, it was going to be tough for scores to be made. At the par 3 12th, that appeared to be the case as the American putted his ball into the water from on the green!

Throughout Friday, the wind had been causing havoc on the course, with current leader, Scottie Scheffler, seeing his ball somehow roll off the green to the right after it had landed well left of the flag.

For McNealy, it was a similar predicament, as his lengthy birdie putt on the 12th hole rolled towards the flag. Playing downhill and downwind, the putt was struck cleanly and, just as it seemed to be stopping, a strong gust pushed it further on causing the announcers to shout: “Oh no, oh wow!” His ball eventually dropped into the water that guards the right hand side of the green.

Putting the putter back in the bag, the 27-year-old took a drop before picking out his wedge. From there, McNealy struck a crisp chip that clattered the flag and dropped in for a bogey four.

However, as if that moment wasn't bizarre enough, just a few moments later McNealy would, in fact, withdraw from the tournament, citing a “left shoulder injury”.

Scottie Scheffler currently leads the tournament with World No.3, Jon Rahm, in hot pursuit. Both men have the chance to leapfrog Rory McIlroy to the top of the World Rankings, with McIlroy seven back of Scheffler, although he does have five holes to complete of round two, on Saturday.

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