ARDMORE, Pa. -- Merion is playing tough -- and that's without your ball becoming a moving target in your backswing.
While on the fifth hole Friday morning, Carl Pettersson was about to hit his approach into the 504-yard par-4 when a ball came bounding across the fairway directly towards him. When Pettersson took his club back, his ball was there. But before he entered his downswing, it was gone. The intruding ball had knocked Pettersson's ball between his legs.
The culprit? Brandon Crick, former college standout at Nebraska who made it into the U.S. Open field by way of local qualifying. With the most precise timing and aim, Crick managed to move Pettersson's ball right out from under him. Crick played his ball from where it stopped, while Pettersson was allowed to move his ball back to its original location without penalty.
Was this a once-in-a-blue-moon accident? Maybe. Or could it be the first domino to fall in Mike Davis's plan to sabotage golfers who use belly putters? (Like our unsuspecting victim, Pettersson) Pettersson went on to make a bogey. Crick managed a birdie.
Step one of Davis' plan is complete. Watch out Tim Clark.