Wind gust turns Horschel's birdie putt into water ball at Masters

Wind gust turns Horschel's birdie putt into water ball at Masters

PGA Tour

Wind gust turns Horschel's birdie putt into water ball at Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Billy Horschel experienced a strange occurrence in Saturday’s third round of the 80th Masters.

After hitting his second shot left of the green at the par-5 No. 15 and chipping up about 15 feet below the hole, Horschel thought he would be facing a birdie putt. However, after he marked his ball and replaced it back on the putting surface, a big gust of wind caught Horschel’s ball and blew it back into the water.

“I was hoping the ball would stop so I could put my coin back on it because I knew what was going to happen,” Horschel said. “I mean, I knew that once the ball rolls, once it’s in play, if it starts rolling, you have to play it from where it finishes, and obviously I didn’t have my scuba gear to play it from the water.”

Under the Rules of Golf, wind is not considered an outside agency, which under Rule 18 would have allowed Horschel to replace the ball. In this case, Horschel would have to play the ball as it lies, which meant taking a penalty drop and hitting 5.

Eventually, Horschel made a bogey-6 but was philosophical about the incident after finishing his round of 1-over 73, which leaves him at 4-over 220 and tied for 16th place.

“It was not the rules official’s fault; it’s not Augusta’s fault; it’s nobody’s fault for that happening,” Horschel said. “It’s just an unfortunate situation where I had a 25-mile-per-hour gust – one of the biggest gusts all day – come and blow my ball and take it 2 feet to a false front and then a false front took it into the water.”

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