Adam Schenk assessed with 2-stroke penalty for caddie error

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Adam Schenk assessed with 2-stroke penalty for caddie error

PGA Tour

Adam Schenk assessed with 2-stroke penalty for caddie error

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Adam Schenk was assessed a two-stroke penalty for a rules violation that occurred in the second round of the Honda Classic when his caddie stood behind him once he was in his stance on the 17th hole.

The penalty announced Saturday afternoon changes the bogey Schenk recorded on the par-3 17th on Friday to a triple-bogey.

Schenk finished the second round 1-over 71 with four birdies and two other bogeys on the fifth and sixth holes.

The PGA Tour released a statement announcing the decision and explaining why Schenk was penalized for violating Rule 10.2b(4).

“The penalty occurred as a result of Adam’s caddie standing behind him once he took his stance, but not taking any action subsequently that would absolve him of penalty, for example backing out of his stance,” the statement read in part.

Schenk was tied for eighth place through four holes in the third round when the penalty was announced. He finished the third round 2-under 68 in a six-way tie for sixth entering Sunday.

Justin Thomas, who finished the third round of the Honda Classic Saturday with a 67, responded to the penalty on Schenk shortly after the violation was announced.

Thomas expounded upon his frustration with the new caddie alignment rule when a fan on Twitter questioned his initial tweet on the penalty.

“My problem with the rule is that unless a caddie is clearly lining a player up (which is very obvious), I don’t see how there’s any benefit to it,” Thomas wrote. “Doesn’t make the game any better in my eyes. That being said, we know the rule and have to be careful to go by it.”

The PGA’s full statement on Schenk’s violation can be read below:

Golf’s new rules, which include the one Schenk and his caddie were judged to have violated, have been criticized by fans and players since they went into effect Jan. 1.

In January, Haotong Li was the first player penalized under the new rule regarding caddies and alignment. He was hit with a two-shot penalty at the Dubai Desert Classic when his caddie was ruled to have been standing behind him while Li was putting on the 18th green in the final round. European Tour chief Keith Pelley called the rule “grossly unfair” at the time.

In response to Li’s penalty in January, the USGA and R&A clarified the new caddie alignment rule in February in hope of helping golfers and caddies avoid future violations. One of the clarifications stated the caddie must be “deliberately” standing behind the ball for the rule to be violated. The USGA and R&A also emphasized a player can back away from their stance at any place on the course if the caddie is standing behind the ball and not violate Rule 10.2b(4).

One of the most well-known challengers to golf’s new rules is Rickie Fowler, who was penalized one stroke for violating the knee-high drop rule during last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship.

A photo was taken of Fowler mocking the rule Thursday at the Honda Classic as he squat down, held the golf ball behind his back and joking asked an official if he was following the new rule correctly.

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