Murray’s two-stroke penalty was no joke

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – If the competition was comedy, Bill Murray would have won by a landslide. But since it centered around a rules book, he was no match for PGA Tour official Mark Dusbabek.

Thus was Murray’s birdie at the opening hole really a bogey, thanks to a two-stroke penalty for being late to the first tee.

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Bill Murray plays out of the sand at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

No, it was no joke – perhaps the only time in Murray’s five-and-a-half-hour trip around Pebble Beach that he didn’t laugh. When he was told by partner Tim Herron that officials had assessed the penalty, Murray looked stunned, then turned and walked into the scoring trailer.

“He thinks I’m kidding,” Herron said.

Turns out, he wasn’t.

What followed was a pretty funny scene – Murray opening a small rules book, Dusbabek going to his golf cart to retrieve an even larger rules book.

“It’s a matter of interpretation,” Murray explained, after he apparently lost his case. It seems that the group’s tee time was 10:01 and Murray wasn’t deemed prepared to hit. Murray agreed with that, but he had a good point – the pros always hit first and 10:01 wasn’t really Murray’s tee time.

But he said he was ready to hit when it was his turn, after Herron and Rocco Mediate had played.

What followed was a birdie that got the pro-Murray crowd even more juiced. It was, said the man who is so often the life of this Pebble Beach party, arguably the only highlight of his round.

And then, even that got taken away, though Murray, as is his norm, tried to make sense of the rough day of golf for he and Herron and then the penalty.

“I’m embarrassing, but I did have fun out there,” he said. “It’s hard to figure.”

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