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    Weird confusion over 15-club rule results in DQ of Tour professional

    Mark Hubbard, proven eventually week’s World Broad Expertise Championship.

    Getty Photographs

    Mark Hubbard, after a sequence wherein he reportedly believed his driver wasn’t working to his liking, will now be at house this weekend.  

    Briefly, Hubbard was disqualified Friday after the second spherical of the Houston Open as a consequence of a violation of Rule 4.1c, and that information was additionally the primary sentence of a tweet from the PGA Tour Communications account early Friday afternoon. However the path to get there was little doubt weird. 

    To start, Hubbard shot a five-over 75 throughout Thursday’s first spherical at Memorial Park, then opened Friday’s second with a four-over entrance one. It was right here, based on a message to from a Tour spokesman, the place Hubbard added a brand new driver to his 14-club bag. And when he hit the fifteenth membership, he was performed. 

    Mark Hubbard is a DQ after the second spherical of the Cadence Financial institution Houston Open as a consequence of a violation of Rule 4.1c.

    Hubbard knowingly added a fifteenth membership on the flip and used the membership a number of occasions with out declaring it out of play.

    — PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) November 11, 2022

    You might have some questions right here, and we’ll attempt to clear issues up. Let’s begin with the disqualification and the rule behind it. You’ll be able to’t play with greater than 14 golf equipment, and that’s coated by Rule 4.1b. The rule is layered, although. If a participant learns of the violation throughout the spherical, they’re to declare a membership out of play, and “the participant will get the overall penalty (two penalty strokes) for every gap the place a breach occurred, with a most of 4 penalty strokes within the spherical (including two penalty strokes at every of the primary two holes the place a breach occurred).”

    However what if a participant knowingly provides a membership throughout a spherical, like Hubbard did? Rule 4.1b begins to handle this, saying “If the participant added extra golf equipment throughout the spherical, these added golf equipment are those that have to be taken out of play.” That leads us to Rule 4.1c, which covers the process for taking a membership out of play. That rule states:

    “When a participant turns into conscious throughout a spherical that she or he is in breach of Rule 4.1b(1), (2) or (3) for having greater than 14 golf equipment or for making a stroke with one other participant’s membership, the participant should instantly take an motion that clearly signifies every membership that’s being taken out of play.

    “This can be performed both by: Declaring this to the opponent in match play or the marker or one other participant within the group in stroke play, or Taking another clear motion (corresponding to turning the membership the other way up within the bag, putting it on the ground of the golf cart or giving the membership to a different individual).

    “The participant should not make a stroke for the remainder of the spherical with any membership taken out of play.”

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    In Hubbard’s case, based on the Tour, he didn’t declare the added driver out of play, and he hit it. And a violation of Rule 4.1c is a DQ. 

    However why would Hubbard play the brand new driver? An e mail to Hubbard’s agent was not instantly returned to, nor was a request to talk to a guidelines official, however based on a narrative from Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine, Hubbard stated he was not getting the correct spin he needed from the unique driver, so he made the transfer on the flip. Notably, Hubbard double-bogeyed his first gap on Friday after hitting into the correct tough off the tee, hit into the correct tough once more on the third, fifth and eighth holes and was within the fairway on the fourth and sixth holes. (Holes two, seven and 9 are par-3s.) After the swap, Hubbard hit 4 of seven fairways. 

    However didn’t Hubbard know in regards to the rule in play? And the potential DQ? 

    In keeping with the Golf Channel story, Hubbard believed he can be hit with simply the four-shot penalty. 

    He then completed his spherical and was finally advised he was fallacious. 

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    Nick Piastowski

    Nick Piastowski Editor

    Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Journal. In his position, he’s chargeable for modifying, writing and creating tales throughout the golf house. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be enjoying the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and brief, and ingesting a chilly beer to clean away his rating. You’ll be able to attain out to him about any of those matters — his tales, his sport or his beers — at [email protected]

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