'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
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x