The truth hurt Justin Thomas.
After Thomas’ ball came to rest at the edge of a water drain on the fourth hole fairway in the third round of the US Open on Saturday, he spoke with an official and was denied a free drop . Thomas landed his next shot.
“F-king bulls-t,” Thomas was caught by tv cameras mumbling on the course.
In Thomas’ eyes, he paid the price for being honest. Under USGA rules, if he said the water drain was interfering with his swing or stance, he could have been awarded a free drop and cleared of the obstacle.
“For me, it was around a drain, and very clearly my stance and my ball were sitting differently than they would be if that drain wasn’t there,” Thomas told USGA media per the following. “I called an official to get a ruling on that, and in the spirit of the game, I wasn’t going to fall for it. I felt like I could have very easily told him I was going to do it and get a free drop, but I wasn’t going to.
Thomas doesn’t think all of his peers share the same integrity.
“That’s what pisses me off,” Thomas said just after the shot landed in a bunker about 50 yards from the green, “because so many other people would lie about being able to hit that. is just like, I’m not going to hit it.
The USGA released a statement explaining its position.
“On the fourth hole, Justin Thomas’ ball came to rest near a drain in the fairway. Justin asked a nearby referee for a ruling. During the discussion, Justin was asked if the drain would interfere with his swing, to which he replied that it didn’t,” the statement read. “Because there was no interference from the drain, Justin was not relieved.
“Rule 16.1a(1) states that interference from an immovable obstruction exists when the ball touches or is in or on the obstruction, or when the obstruction physically interferes with the player’s intended stance area or area intentional swing. The Rule goes on to state that if the obstruction is close enough to distract the player but does not otherwise interfere, there is no relief under the Rule.
Thomas settled for a par-4 bogey and finished the third round tied for 25e place at 3-over, seven strokes behind leaders Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick.
New York Post