"I Can't Believe This" - Kuchar Denied Free Drop At Memorial

Two rules officials denied Kuchar a drop from a pitch mark during the Memorial Tournament

Kuchar Denied Free Drop At Memorial

Two rules officials denied Kuchar a drop from a pitch mark during the Memorial Tournament

"I Can't Believe This" - Kuchar Denied Free Drop At Memorial

Matt Kuchar was denied a free drop during round one of the Memorial Tournament in scenes that won't help increase his popularity after controversies surrounding him already this year.

The American hit the fairway on the 17th hole and his ball came to rest in a pitch mark made by another player.

Kuchar brought Rules Official Robbie Ware over and the pair agreed that it wasn't his pitch mark, although Kuchar wanted relief as he believed that his ball had made it bigger.

He was attempting to get a free drop via the new Rule 16.3, which allows relief for a ball embedded anywhere in the “general area”.

Ware wasn't having it, with Kuch believing that there was a "secondary outline" to the mark.

The pitch mark in question

"To me that looks like the same to be honest with you," Ware told the nine-time PGA Tour winner.

"My opinion is, that wasn't created by your ball," he continued.

A clip on social media has been viewed thousands of times, and Sky Sports' Mark Roe and Rich Beem were commentating at the time.

"I can't believe this," Roe said.

"I can't believe it either," was Beem's reply.

Kuchar clearly wasn't getting a free drop from Ware, so he brought in a second official, Steven Cox.

"My ball landed here, took two hops, went straight in here, popped up and back in," Kuchar explained.

Kuchar was denied the free drop

"I'm just saying that there is potential it broke new ground in making its secondary pitch.

"I think it looks like its going hard enough to potentially break new ground.

"If it breaks any more ground right, am I correct, that it's now embedded ."

However, just like the first official, Cox wasn't having it.

"Ultimately, it's already in a hole made by somebody else," he told Kuch.

"I'm not buying that the fact on the secondary bounce that we're now going to get you out of a pitch mark which has been made by somebody else."

Kuchar continued to argue his case, before a stern Steven Cox told him that the situation was over.

"I don't need to look at it Matt, honestly," he said.

"Trust me, the guys have already seen it on TV, let's get back in play."

Mark Roe in the Sky commentary booth was shocked and unhappy at what he was seeing from Kuchar.

"So what do you want to do now Matt, do you want a 3rd opinion, a 4th opinion, or do you want to just get on with the game of golf as it should be played?"

"Matt is continuing to make an argument and the rules official has made their decision and for some reason he's just not buying it. Hey listen, the good news is that he can get to the back of the golf ball," Rich Beem said.

Kuchar continued to argue his case before calling a for a 3rd official. A 3rd official never came and the American went on to make par.

Watch a clip from social media here - 

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As you can expect, the incident was a big talking point on social media:

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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