Pro Receives Two-Shot Penalty After Hitting Ball Out Of Tree

Dylan Frittelli had elected to play his golf ball, which was up in a tree. However, following the shot, he was given a two-stroke penalty

Frittelli hits out a tree
(Image credit: Twitter: @RossLordo)

Golf is a strange game and, at the RBC Heritage on Sunday, that strangeness was on full display when Dylan Frittelli was given a two-shot penalty for playing a shot from a tree on the 6th hole.

After pulling his drive left, the South African found his ball suspended in one of Harbour Town's many, many trees. Looking at the ball from different angles, as well as consulting his caddie, we think, Frittelli elected to play his shot with a driver, gripping up the club to be able to power his shot out of the moss.

Following the stroke though, it was soon announced by PGA Tour Communications that Frittelli was given a two-shot penalty under Rule 10.1c (making stroke while standing across or on line of play).

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From what we hear, the 31-year-old says: "It can't be that strong (in reference to the moss surrounding the golf ball). It's obviously swaying in the wind and that is not a moving ball, it's stationary in the moss, so I'm saying to hit it."

After hitting an almost tennis serve-like shot, Frittelli would go on to make a par. However, it was announced that he broke Rule 10.1c, which states: "The player must not make a stroke from a stance with a foot deliberately placed on each side of, or with either foot deliberately touching, the line of play or an extension of that line behind the ball.

"For this Rule only, the line of play does not include a reasonable distance on either side. Exception – There Is No Penalty If Stance Is Taken Accidentally or to Avoid Another Player’s Line of Play." As a result, his par was changed to a double-bogey.

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After his final round, Frittelli took to Twitter to say: "I thought this would be the greatest Par of my life. I was assessed a 2-stroke penalty for “standing astride” my intended line of play during this shot. The rules of golf remain undefeated!"

According to some, there was a rules official on site when the moment happened, with Frittelli consulted on options before he elected to play. However, the rule was apparently never mentioned to the South African.

Following the penalty, the 31-year-old went on to shoot a five-over-par 76, finishing in a tie for 66th place for the tournament. 

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