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Playing the par-4 6th hole, his 15th of the day, the American had been going along nicely at three-under-par. However, a pulled drive thankfully finished short of the spiny plant.
After moving the dead vegetation, as well as getting a few spikes in his hands for good measure, the Olympic gold medallist would go on to save his par.
Watch the video below:
Things are getting ...Prickly for @XSchauffele 🌵 pic.twitter.com/RBFWXLQ127February 10, 2022
After the shot, the commentary team had been wondering why Schauffele hadn't used a towel to help move the obstructions and avoid getting damaged by the cactus. And, looking at rule 15.1a, they may have had a point, with the rule stating that you can 'remove a loose impediment anywhere on or off the course using a hand, foot, club or equipment or in any other way.'
Therefore, the 28-year-old could have used a towel or club to pick up the cactus and avoid harming himself. Anyway, it didn't seem to bother Schauffele, who simply pulled out the sharp spines, jokingly said to the crowd: "That seemed like a good idea at the time!" and put his shot onto the green for a concluding par.
It's not just cacti that have caused problems before on the TPC Scottsdale layout. At the 1999 Phoenix Open, Tiger Woods was playing the par-5 13th hole when his drive ended up behind a giant boulder.
Calling a rules officials over, the official deemed the giant boulder to be a loose impediment and, with the help of a dozen or so golf fans, this loose impediment was rolled out of Tiger’s way. As a result, he was able to blast the ball out and make birdie when it was highly likely that par would have been a good score.
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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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