Rory McIlroy wound up by one way or another got up to speed in the Patrick Reed rules turmoil a week ago at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it left him with questions even after the competition.
Reed, obviously, got a free drop as a result of an installed ball on the tenth opening on Saturday in Round 3 at Torrey Pines. It was a decision that was discussed for two straight days despite the fact that he won on Sunday, and it was Reed himself who hauled McIlroy into it when he tweeted on Saturday night that McIlroy did precisely the same thing he did on the eighteenth opening.
After video arose on Sunday, the two alleviation decisions have all the earmarks of being very comparable. McIlroy’s ball bobbed in the harsh – similar as Reed’s – however McIlroy, who like Reed never saw the bob, said it was inserted and took a drop. He was resolved after his round that he didn’t have to bring over a guidelines official since it was unquestionably installed. But, the replay demonstrated that except if it arrived in its own pitch mark (which is positively conceivable, however improbable) the ball more likely than not would not have been inserted.
Except if … it was stepped on.
“An email was sent to the Tour on Monday saying my ball was stepped on to be found, but the volunteer didn’t tell me that on Saturday,” McIlroy said on Wednesday at the Phoenix Open. “So that’s why I took embedded ball relief, because it was an embedded ball, but I didn’t know it had been stepped on at the time. So obviously the video came out on Sunday with my ball bouncing and then going in, and at that point I’m like, ‘Well, it must have went into its own pitch mark or something,’ because the ball was obviously plugged.”
The Tour absolved the two players on Sunday regardless of not realizing that McIlroy’s ball had really been stepped on, however McIlroy said he rested on Sunday night agitated.
“I went to bed Sunday night sort of questioning whether I had done the right thing after seeing the video. … I at least felt better about my actions knowing I did the right thing, that I did take relief for a ball that was embedded or stepped on. So it sort was nice that that came to light because I was questioning myself on Sunday a little bit.
“‘Did I do the right thing? Did I play by the rules? Did I see something that wasn’t there?’ It was a bit of a rough Sunday night. I just started to doubt myself a little bit, which is not like me. But I was convinced that it was an embedded ball,” McIlroy said.
Incidentally, it was an implanted ball, regardless of whether the way to get to that point was not anyone’s opinion.