Where was Golf Magazine's Rules Guy when we needed him? That's what PGA Tour pro Seung-Yul Noh might be asking after he was assessed a two-stroke penalty for playing a shot to the 11th hole from the second green at The Barclays today in Paramus, N.J.
When Noh's drive went way right and landed on the green, he should have taken a free drop under USGA Rule 25-3, which reads:
If a player’s ball lies on a wrong putting green, he must not play the ball as it lies. He must take relief, without penalty, as follows:
The player must lift the ball and drop it within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. The nearest point of relief must not be in a hazard or on a putting green. When dropping the ball within one club-length of the nearest point of relief, the ball must first strike a part of the course at a spot that avoids interference by the wrong putting green and is not in a hazard and not on a putting green. The ball may be cleaned when lifted under this Rule.
A rules official saw Noh take the shot and he was given a two-stroke penalty. He made a 7 on the par-4.
Amateurs who, ahem, sometimes find themselves in unlikely spots, likely know this rule. Noh, who is 174th in driving accuracy, clearly didn't. He does now.