With all due respect to Jordan Spieth on the 13th hole at the British Open, Sergio Garcia wins the award for most excruciatingly time-consuming ruling of the season.
Playing the par-5 18th hole on Sunday at the BMW Championship, Garcia hit his second shot into a lateral hazard short and right of the green. His ball wedged against the rocks, Garcia called for a ref.
Garcia told the official he wanted to play backwards out of the hazard and carom his ball off a hospitality tent. Garcia showed that if he were to attempt the shot, the butt of his club would strike the tent -- a man-made object -- which would entitle him to free relief. After a lengthy discussion, the official deemed that a reasonable shot, and awarded him a drop without penalty from within the hazard.
"I think he should've been a lawyer," said Johnny Miller on the TV broadcast. "This one is comic relief."
"Phil may be eligible for the Champions tour by the time this is done," said Dan Hicks in a nod to Mickelson, who was paired with Garcia and waiting to attempt a birdie putt.
Garcia finally took his drop, but his ball ricocheted in the creek and settled closer to the hole. He redropped, but with a similar result. He was then able to place the ball on the stones inside the hazard line.
From there, Garcia bladed his pitch shot, and his ball settled against the tent behind the green. He received another, more conventional, free drop, then chipped to six feet and holed the putt for par.
Here's how it played out:
The ordeal lasted nearly a half an hour, but Sergio's par was important to the FedEx playoff standings. He finished 11 under for the tournament and slipped inside the top 30, good for a spot this week at the Tour Championship at East Lake.