'Tough News' - Major Champion Reacts To Rules Penalty At The Players Championship

Keegan Bradley received a two-stroke penalty at TPC Sawgrass after an incident on the 16th green

Keegan Bradley pictured at The Players Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keegan Bradley revealed the "tough news" he received for a two-shot penalty at The Players Championship after an incident on the green.

The 2011 PGA Champion marked his ball on the 16th green at TPC Sawgrass before a gust of wind moved it. He played his shot from where he originally marked it from instead of where it moved to, which was a breach of the Rules. His par five was amended to a double-bogey seven.

"Well, apparently the rule is - I thought as long as everyone in my group, and I guarantee most of the entire field thought the USGA changed the rule to simplify it, put your coin down, that's where your ball is," Bradley explained.

"So put my coin down, the ball moved, a huge gust of wind came up. I looked at the guys in my group and we all said, yep, the coin was down first, all good. Didn't think about it again until Gary came up and spoke to me on 2, and proud of the way I handled that because that was tough news, especially with some tough holes in front of me."

Rule 13.1.d (2) 'When to Replace Ball Moved by Natural Forces' states:

If natural forces cause a player’s ball on the putting green to move, where the player must play from next depends on whether the ball had already been lifted and replaced on its original spot:

  • Ball Already Lifted and Replaced. The ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) (see Rule 14.2), even though it was moved by natural forces and not by the player, the opponent or an outside influence (see Rule 9.3, Exception).
  • Ball Not Already Lifted and Replaced. The ball must be played from its new spot (see Rule 9.3).

Bradley carded a second round 71 to sit at one-under-par for two rounds in what was the 'wrong' late-early side of the draw where players faced the harshest of the conditions.

"This is probably my best round, one of my best rounds of my life, honestly," the American said. "This is as tough as golf as you're ever going to play. This is a course you want to play under no conditions because of how tough the shots are, and to play in this wind, to play like that, that was really, really a special round."

- The Players Championship LIVE: Updates From Day 4 At TPC Sawgrass

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five 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 off of a six handicap. 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: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV