Rickie Fowler missed the cut at The Players thanks in no small part to a palm tree
Rickie Fowler opened his Players Championship with a two-over 74. He would have needed a three-under 69, Friday, to make the cut. The Oklahoma State alum looked well on his way to achieving that goal, until a palm tree got in the way.
Fowler was five under for his round when he got to the sixth hole (his 15th of the day). His tee shot sailed right, and when he arrived on scene to look for his ball, he realized he was in a bit of trouble.
Fowler’s ball was lodged in the fronds of a palm tree high overhead. And while fans saw the ball land in the tree, per Rule 28-11, Fowler had to be able to identify his ball. But, even with a binocular-aided view of the ball, he couldn’t see any identifying markings.
“Unfortunately the part of the ball that was showing was just all the white and dimples,” Fowler said.
As he couldn’t identify the ball, Fowler had to return to the tee to play his third shot. Had he been able to determine the ball was his, Fowler could have dropped within two club lengths of the base of the tree.
. is trying to identify his ball which may be stuck in a tree.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR)
Ultimately, Fowler doubled the hole. He made matters worse at the seventh, going wide left with his tee shot and finding the water.
Four over across the two-hole stretch, Fowler went from three under for the tournament to one over, missing the cut accordingly.
Needless to say, Fowler wasn’t exactly loving the Rules of Golf after his round.
“I mean, if a ball happens to hit something and go into a hazard, it’s not like you have to go identify the ball inside the hazard or in the water. It’s, ‘Hey, we saw it go right here…so, I mean it was pretty clear that the ball was there, that was where everybody saw it go and heard it go. But not the case with that one.”
Curiously, while Fowler won The Players in 2015 and tied for second in 2012, he has never finished better than tied for 60th in his other starts.