Thomas Pieters Involved In Bizarre Putting Green Rules Incident

Pieters managed to replace his ball on the putting green after it was deemed he accidentally hit it

Screenshot of bizarre Thomas Pieters video incident

Thomas Pieters was involved in a bizarre incident at this week's French Open, where he appeared to back off a putt immediately after making impact with the ball.

The Belgian almost made no follow through on his putt, which barely traveled a few feet despite him being some 40ft from the hole, after clearly being distracted by something mid-stroke.

"Never ever seen that before," a shocked Mark Roe said on commentary for Sky Sports.

Watch the incident:

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Pieters managed to replace his ball back to where it originally was after speaking to a referee at Le Golf National, with the shot reportedly being deemed as an accidental hit. He eventually two-putted and walked off with a par.

Rule 13.1.D, when a ball moves on the putting green, states:

"There are two specific Rules for a ball or ball-marker that moves on the putting green.

(1) No Penalty for Accidentally Causing Ball to Move. There is no penalty if the player, opponent or another player in stroke play accidentally moves the player’s ball or ball-marker on the putting green.

The player must:

  • Replace the ball on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated)
  • Place a ball-marker to mark that original spot.
Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x