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Golf can be a cruel game, but Billy Horschel’s third round slice of luck showed that sometimes the rules can help us out.

Although he came up just short of victory, Billy Horschel enjoyed a successful week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, finishing in a tie for 2nd place. And while many players struggled with Bay Hill’s thick rough throughout the week, it was no problem for The American on Saturday’s 18th hole, where he made a birdie three.

After his second shot though, it looked unlikely. Horschel’s ball bounced over the rock-hard putting surface and buried itself into a horrible lie. Faced with a downhill chip towards the water, the world No. 15 looked in trouble.

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Except, a nearby sprinkler head came to his rescue.

Horschel was helped out by Rule 16, which explains that if your ball is in the general area of the golf course and an abnormal course condition interferes with your stance, then you’re entitled to a free drop, no nearer the hole. If this gets you from a bad lie into a nice one, then lucky you.

In this case, the abnormal course condition was the sprinkler head, and Horschel escaped the brutal lie. Luckily for him, his nearest point of relief, plus a club length, got him to the fringe grass beside the green, and out came the putter.

From here, Horschel rolled the 28-footer down the hill, and the putt dropped for an unlikely birdie.

So, while you might feel that golf can be unfair on you, remember the rules are there to help you out. Next time you’re near a sprinkler head around the green, consider your options and see if you can get a better lie.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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