ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The most dramatic putt of the third round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on Saturday didn’t even count.
Lee Hodges, from Athens, Alabama, had a par putt of nearly 16 feet on the par-4 17th hole of the East Course. In the falling rain, Hodges putted his ball up the green and toward the hole. After breaking to the left, his ball seemed to be going in until it suddenly stopped on the top right edge of the cup.
Hodges waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, after about 35 seconds, gravity won. His ball fell into the cup.
Unfortunately for the former University of Alabama star, the par putt didn’t count. The PGA Championship rules committee assessed a 1-stroke penalty for breaching Rule 13.3a of the Rules of Golf, which addresses the waiting time a player has to see if an overhanging ball will fall into the cup.
The rule states that a player is allowed a “reasonable time to reach the hole and ten more seconds to wait to see whether the ball will fall into the hole. If the ball falls into the hole in this waiting time, the player has holed out with the previous stroke.
“If the ball does not fall into the hole in this waiting time: The ball is treated as being at rest,” the rule states. “If the ball then falls into the hole before it is played, the player has holed out with the previous stroke, but gets one penalty stroke added to the score for the hole.”
Hodges, the 143rd-ranked player in the world, carded a 5-over 75 in the rain-soaked third round. He is 10 over after 54 holes.