European Tour Hopeful Falls Foul Of Unusual Golf Rule

Gian-Marco Petrozzi lost out on a playoff for an alternate spot in the European Tour Q-School Final Stage due to an unusual rule

European Tour Hopeful Falls Foul Of Unusual Golf Rule

Gian-Marco Petrozzi lost out on a playoff for an alternate spot in the European Tour Q-School Final Stage due to an unusual rule

European Tour Hopeful Falls Foul Of Unusual Golf Rule

European Tour hopeful Gian-Marco Petrozzi lost out on a potential place in Q-School Final Stage due to a rare rules infraction.

The Englishman received a two stroke penalty on his last hole which ultimately cost him the chance of a playoff for an alternate spot.

He was playing his final hole and had to hit a shot over a bunker and walked through the bunker to pace his yardage and then raked his footprints in the sand.

That ultimately cost him two strokes for improving his line of of play, something covered in Rule 13-2.

Petrozzi shot a final round 65, including five birdies in his last six holes, to finish at six under. His score was then cut back to four under.

His round also featured an ace on the 17th, which was his 8th hole of the day.

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Petrozzi was playing in one of the four Q School Stage 2 tournaments and his venue was Las Colinas G&CC in Spain.

The 95 qualifiers from the four Stage 2 venues plus 61 further exempt players will compete in the Q School Final Stage at Lumine GC in Spain from 10-15th November.

Petrozzi wrote on Twitter: "Tough lesson learned today in the last round of Q School stage 2.

"After making a hole in one and finishing with 5 birdies in the last 6 to shoot 65 and make a play off for an alternate spot I signed my card then 20 minutes later found I was given a 2 shot penalty on the last hole for pacing out a yardage walking through a bunker then raking the footprints before walking back and hitting my shot over the bunker and onto the green.

"I wasn't aware that I was making this mistake but it is classed as 'improving line of play'.

See more

Rule 13-2 states that in Petrozzi's situation -

A player must not improve or allow to be improved...

...his line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole by...

  • pressing a club on the ground,
  • moving, bending or breaking anything growing or fixed (including immovable obstructions and objects defining out of bounds),
  • creating or eliminating irregularities of surface,
  • removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, replaced divots or other cut turf placed in position, or
  • removing dew, frost or water.

'The "line of play" is the direction that the player wishes his ball to take after a stroke, plus a reasonable distance on either side of the intended direction. The line of play extends vertically upwards from the ground, but does not extend beyond the hole.'

All the details on Rule 13-2 from the R&A here (opens in new tab)

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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. 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 covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, 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 2-6. 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: Titleist Pro V1x