Paul Casey Survives Bug-Related Rules Scare

The Englishman putted over a bug during the Porsche European Open which taught us all a new Rule we didn't know...

Paul Casey Survives Bug-Related Rules Scare

The Englishman putted over a bug during the Porsche European Open which taught us all a new Rule we didn't know...

Paul Casey Survives Bug-Related Rules Scare

Paul Casey won his 14th European Tour title with a one stroke victory at the Porsche European Open in Germany.

However, the Englishman could have been made to re-take a putt during the second round after it hit an insect.

The 42-year-old holed a putt but it rolled over a tiny caterpillar, which is against the Rules if Casey knew it was there.

However, as the bug was so small he had no idea and the putt stood.

Watch the video from the European Tour here -

This is extremely complicated and part of Rule 11.1-b along with Exception 2 and then a clarification.

The Rule is as follows -

Rule 11.1-B Exception 2 -When Ball Played from Putting Green Accidentally Hits Any Person, Animal or Movable Obstruction (Including Another Ball in Motion) on Putting Green: The stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot.

However, as Casey did not know the bug was there, this takes into account a clarification.

The clarification says it is: "to be applied using the “known or virtually certain” standard. Therefore, if there is knowledge or conclusive evidence that the ball played from the putting green accidentally hit a person, animal or movable obstruction on the putting green, the stroke does not count."

There is also a clarification that confirms that insects and indeed animals.

Again, as Casey didn't have any knowledge or conclusive evidence at the time that he was putting over the insect, he did not have to replay his putt.

"I putted the ball, when I looked up the ball was going at the hole, just crept in left edge," Casey said.

"And he's [Rules Official] just showed me the video, it actually ran straight over the poor bug, hopefully I didn't hurt him.

"If you knowingly hit an animal, and a bug is considered an animal, during the course of a stroke certainly on the putting green, you have to replay it.

"I didn't knowingly hit it, so i'm alright but yeah almost a Rules infraction and I had no clue.

"Ants and bugs and beatles, we've got to protect them."

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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