Scottie Scheffler penalises himself at The Northern Trust

Scottie Scheffler Northern Trust

Scottie Scheffler displayed a massive show of integrity when he called a penalty on himself during his opening round at The Northern Trust.

The 25-year-old was sailing along nicely at three-under par until he rocked up at the par-4 15th hole.

His drive missed the fairway left, and with his second shot from 188 yards, Scheffler could only send the ball 80 yards short of the green and into the rough.

That wasn’t the worst of his troubles.

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The thickness of the rough made it difficult for Scheffler, officials and even fans to find the ball. A lengthy period of time passed before the ball was eventually uncovered.

However, it was immediately questioned whether the search had discovered the ball within the allotted three minutes allowed for searching for your ball.

According to Rule 18.2, players are now only allowed only a three-minute search. This was altered back in 2019 from five minutes to three in a bid to speed up play.

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In the moment, Scheffler wasn’t sure, so after consulting with PGA Tour rules official Gary Young, he decided to play two balls to be safe.  

He played the first where it was found in the rough and a second from the previous spot, back in the rough left of the fairway, with an added stroke for a lost ball. With the second ball, Scheffler hit the green and escaped with a double-bogey.

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“We couldn't figure it out,” said the 2020 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year after his round. “They didn't have data or ShotLink data or anything, so just went with it was over three minutes. Just too long.”

Scheffler ended up counting a lost ball and the replay of his second shot and signed for a one-under 70 to leave him tied for 34th at the end of the first round at Liberty National Golf Course.

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