WATCH: Jason Day Gets Ball Stuck Up Tree In Bird Nest

The former World No.1 found a spot of bother during the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Jason Day Gets Ball Stuck Up Tree
Screenshot: @PGATour

The former World No.1 found a spot of bother during the Arnold Palmer Invitational

WATCH: Jason Day Gets Ball Stuck Up Tree In Bird Nest

Jason Day had a very rare rules incident during day two of the Arnold Palmer Invitational after his ball got stuck in a bird's nest.

The Australian had to first look through binoculars to try and locate the ball before a photographer zoomed in with his lens.

The photographer confirmed that it was Day's golf ball.

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Day went on to take a penalty drop directly under where his ball was.

The incident happened on the par-5 16th hole and he went on to make double bogey.

Related: What happens if my golf ball gets stuck up a tree?

As tricky a shot as it may be, the player always has the option to play the ball as it lies.

Sergio Garcia climbing up into a tree during the final round of the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill is a prime example.

However, it may not always be the player’s best option, as Garcia demonstrated by injuring himself in the process and having to withdraw two holes later.

Looking at the other options available, if the player has identified their ball, they are entitled to take unplayable ball relief under Rule 19, which, for one penalty stroke, allows the player three options.

Firstly, a player can take stroke-and-distance relief by going back to the spot where they last played and dropping a ball within one club-length of that point, no nearer the hole, or if they are returning to the tee, they can play a ball from anywhere within the teeing area.

Secondly, the player may take back-on-the-line relief by dropping a ball in a relief area which is again, one club-length no closer to the hole, at a point on the course which is on a direct line going straight back from the hole through the spot of the original ball.

The final option is to choose lateral relief. Usually, this would involve dropping a ball within two club lengths of the spot where the original ball lay. However, doing this when your ball is 20 feet off the ground in a tree might not be the easiest thing to do, so the Rules make an exception for this situation.

When a player’s ball lies above the ground, in a bush or a tree for example, the player can take lateral relief by using the point on the ground directly below their ball as their reference point.

This what Jason Day chose to do.

The player would then be entitled to drop the ball within two club-lengths of that point, no closer to the hole.

It’s also worth remembering that when taking relief in this situation, the Rules allow a player to substitute a ball, so there’s no need to go climbing to retrieve the original.

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