Major champion “p****d off” at Players ruling

Keegan Bradley Players

This year’s Players Championship threw up no shortage of rules debates.

Whether it was Paul Casey’s drive finding a pitchmark or Daniel Berger’s row with Viktor Hovland and Joel Dahmen over a drop, there was plenty to discuss following the extended event.

However, it was an incident earlier in the week which left former major champion Keegan Bradley fuming.

Playing in the opening round, Bradley marked his ball but had not lifted and replaced it when a gust of wind moved it.

• Berger, Hovland and Dahmen in tense rules exchange

The 2011 PGA Championship winner returned the ball to its original position – but because he had not lifted his ball, he was in breach of rule 9.4a as should have played it from the new spot.

It cost Bradley a two-shot penalty, and needless to say he was less than pleased after finishing in a tie for ninth.

Keegan Bradley Sawgrass

“I think the USGA needs to smarten up and change that rule,” he said. “It's so silly. They try to make the rules easier, and they never get it right.

“I had that two-shot penalty, and it didn't even faze me. It p****d me off really and made me more focused.

“It was a fluke thing. I was saying a million things had to happen all at once for this to happen. It was perfect timing, it was the gust. If I take one second longer or one second shorter, this never happens.

• Tyrrell Hatton's X-rated rant at missed putt

“I've spoken to a bunch of the guys. Not one player knows this rule. We all thought common sense says you put your coin down, that's where your ball is. I didn't want to break the rules by moving my coin. I was trying to do the right thing.

This day and age, if you do something like that, it's going to be seen. Thank God they did or I could have been DQ'd.”

Rory McIlroy was involved in a similar incident to Bradley during the second round – but because he had lifted and replaced his ball, he was allowed to return it to his marker.

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