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After a controlled level-par front nine in near-30mph winds, Matthew Jordan stood two-shots clear at the top of the leaderboard heading into the back nine. And, after a bullet of a drive at the par-5 10th, he was in prime position to extend that lead further.
However, the 26-year-old pulled his second shot from the fairway, with the ball ricocheting and bouncing around before coming to rest. Seeing it fly into the desert, Jordan decided to not play a provisional, with the ball seemingly not that far off-line.
Wow desperate luck for Matthew Jordan. Goes to show how important spectators are in the professional game. Sickener, hope he can go on to win. #QatarMasters @DPWorldTourMarch 27, 2022
But, as Jordan and his group made their way to the vicinity of where his ball was, no-one had any idea of where it came to rest. As a result, the three-minute window in which the ball must be found had started, with players, caddies, officials and fans searching furiously to try and find it.
With the three minutes up, the search party couldn't locate the Englishman's golf ball. However, that wasn't the end of the story, with it then being revealed that Jordan's ball had been found, but after the allocated time.
As a result, Jordan was forced to drive back up the fairway in a golf cart to replay his fairway wood. After all the drama, he would go on to make a respectful bogey that dropped him back into a share of the lead with Poland's, Adrian Meronk.
According to Rule 18.2a - When Ball Is Lost - A ball is lost if not found in three minutes after the player or his or her caddie begins searching for it. If a ball is found in that time, but is uncertain whether it is the player's ball then the player:
- Must promptly attempt to identify the ball (Rule 7.2) and is allowed a reasonable time to do so, even if that happens after the three-minute search time has ended.
- This includes a reasonable time to get to the ball if the player is not where the ball is found
If the player does not identify his or her ball in that reasonable time, the ball is lost.
Following Jordan's bogey, he would then produce a run of four straight dropped shots, as he fell down the leaderboard.
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.