Thomas Pieters was involved in a bizarre incident at this week’s French Open, where he appeared to back off a putt immediately after making an impact with the ball.
The Belgian almost made no follow through on his putt, which barely traveled a few feet despite him being some 40ft from the hole, after clearly being distracted by something mid-stroke.
“Never ever seen that before,” a shocked Mark Roe said on commentary for Sky Sports.
Watch the incident:
@Thomas_Pieters conscious of the horrid lie and tricky conditions so makes the right call to lay up. pic.twitter.com/yhobtDZmOdSeptember 23, 2022
Pieters managed to replace his ball back to where it originally was after speaking to a referee at Le Golf National, with the shot reportedly being deemed an accidental hit. He eventually two-putted and walked off with a par.
Rule 13.1.D, when a ball moves on the putting green, states:
“There are two specific Rules for a ball or ball-marker that moves on the putting green.
(1) No Penalty for Accidentally Causing the Ball to Move. There is no penalty if the player, opponent or another player in stroke play accidentally moves the player’s ball or ball-marker on the putting green.
The player must:
- Replace the ball on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated)
- Place a ball-marker to mark that original spot.