Right, that's the last of the tree puns! Let's focus on the golf and a peculiar incident at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans that involved Branden Grace and a three-foot dead tree stump.
Only eight months ago, TPC Louisiana felt the wrath of Hurricane Ida, a freak weather event that left the course completely unplayable. The green staff in New Orleans have done a fantastic job in getting the course back into the pristine condition we are used to seeing when this tournament comes around.
On the par-4 13th though, it seems that a bit may have been missed, much to Grace's expense, as his ball found a rotten tree stump that was some 280-yards away from the tee.
Watch the video below:
A photo posted by on
Partnered alongside his fellow countryman, Garrick Higgo, the South African's had been vying for the lead around TPC Louisiana. Standing at six-under-par for the day as they reached the 13th, the duo were actually in a share for first.
Stripping his tee shot down the fairway, Grace went for the instant tee-grab, signalling a very good drive. However, like magic, his golf ball disappeared, with cameras eventually locating it in the centre of a dead tree stump.
Removing a dead piece of wood off the top, Grace took an unplayable lie, with CBS commentator Dottie Pepper humorously stating: "This is just plain old bad luck. You go to TopGolf, you might take dead aim on a little target like that. Light up the whole scoreboard."
What happened following the bad luck, you may ask? Well, Grace would go on to make a par! What's more, his partner, Higgo, would go one better, with a birdie, keeping both of them in contention.
Following the birdie, more followed at the 14th and 16th, with the South African's eventually finishing five-shots back of the red-hot pair of Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay going into the final day.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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