Add Webb Simpson to the list of players who find the new Rules of Golf frustrating.
Simpson, the 2018 champion of the Players Championship, was 4 under and had a 47-foot shot for birdie on the 14th hole Sunday when he was assessed a one-shot penalty for inadvertently moving his ball, a violation of Rule 9.4b. The rule states, “if the player lifts or deliberately touches his or her ball at rest or causes it to move, the player gets one penalty stroke.”
He made bogey on the hole and the next one before carding two more birdies in his round of 4-under-par 68. Simpson blamed the penalty on his shirt and putter.
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“My ball’s on the fringe, and I was seeing if I was standing in the rough or if I was going to get both feet in the fringe or whatever and the end of my putter just got stuck on my shirt and it moved the ball about a quarter of an inch,” he said after the round. “I thought it might be a penalty, but we called anyways, and if it’s on the green it’s not a penalty. So this is where I’m going to be loud…