Russell Knox Explains Pebble Beach Penalty - "One Of Those Horrible Rules"

The Scot was penalised one stroke during the final round at Pebble Beach after causing his ball to move

Russell Knox Explains Pebble Beach Penalty
(Image credit: getty images)

The Scot was penalised one stroke during the final round at Pebble Beach after causing his ball to move

Russell Knox Explains Pebble Beach Penalty - "One Of Those Horrible Rules"

Russell Knox received a harsh penalty during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after he accidentally caused his ball to move.

The Scot hit a perfect tee shot down the 1st hole but his ball slightly moved as he addressed his approach to the green.

He called a rules official who cleared him of any wrongdoing but he later received a one stroke penalty after officials went back and looked at the video.

Knox was told about his penalty on the 5th hole.

Watch a video of the incident below:

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But why was the penalty only one stroke rather than the two strokes that normally applies for playing from the wrong place, as Knox did by not replacing his ball after it had moved?

Here's what our Rules guru, Jezz Ellwood, says:

"If you cause your ball to move in the general area, whether accidental or not, it's a one-stroke penalty under Rule 9.4b and you must replace the ball. If you fail to replace the ball it's a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong place. I can only assume that because the official exonerated Knox originally, they didn't feel they could penalise him two shots for playing from a wrong place when the official had cleared him to play from there."

Knox explained what happened after his round...

"Hit a nice tee ball there and had an 8-iron. I just was getting comfortable a little. I guess I put the club down, moved up, a little waggle, come down and the ball just creeped a little bit, and then obviously I was deemed to have addressed it," the Scot said.

Related: 8 Rules golfers break...without even realising!

"And even after I kind of walked away, the ball still moved a little further, like 30 seconds later, which was weird.

"It's just one of those horrible rules which every one of us is against.

"There's no advantage gained in any way, and it happened to Maverick yesterday, my playing partner, so it's just, it's one of those kind of horrible rules that got me on the first hole."

Knox said the news of the penalty came at the worst time.

"Sadly it was like the worst timing ever, probably, because I birdied 2 and birdied 3 and it was flying and I hit it close on 4, full horseshoe from 3 feet, and then I hit it in the worst spot ever on No. 5. Then I got told walking up there.

"So it was, I mean, really I kind of went from 3-under to even in about 30 seconds, so it was, that was tough."

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

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