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:

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
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