It's a new year on the PGA Tour, but the act of backstopping is continuing apace.
For those that don't know, backstopping is when a player, directly or indirectly, fails to mark a ball near the hole and another player hits it.
The latest incident occurred in the final group of the Sony Open in Hawaii, involving runner-up Andrew Putnam and winner Matt Kuchar.
Kuchar was playing from the greenside bunker on the ninth hole and Putnam left his ball just a couple of inches from the flag and didn’t put a mark down.
Of course, Kuchar would have received an advantage had he hit Putnam’s ball and it slowed Kuchar’s down or stopped it completely, because Kuchar would play it from where it lies.
Putnam's action was criticised heavily by on-air Golf Channel commentator Frank Nobilo, who said: “That’s crazy. It really is.
“You ask any other generation and it’s something that we have chatted about over the years: to provide a backstop, especially at this key moment. He had the option to run up there and tap it in, do whatever you want. Remember the rules changed, you are allowed to putt with the flag in — do not leave it there.”
“One of these days, it’s going to cost someone. Can you image if Matt’s bunker shot is going fast and actually hits the ball and goes in?”
Backstopping - Is it a big deal?
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