While Ernie Els improved his already-immaculate public image by taking a penalty he didn’t need to take, fellow South African Branden Grace is facing scrutiny for a decision he made on the course.
Grace got relief from a bunker after claiming that he could not take a proper stance due to the rubber lining beneath the sand. Grace is now defending the action after criticism from other players. Grace finished the round at four-under 68, just two strokes off the BMW PGA Championship lead.
- Into Bunker: Branden Grace hit his second shot on the par-4 13th hole into a bunker.
- Digging In: After twisting his feet attempting to make a proper stance, Grace reached the rubber-lining under the bunker and called a rules official over, who then allowed him to take a drop. He bogeyed the hole, although it looked appeared he would do worse before the drop.
- Prosecution: The drop was met with much criticism. Danny Willett took to Twitter, asking for an explanation of why burying his feet got him a drop. TV analyst Paul McGinley called it ridiculous, saying that anyone can reach the rubber lining if they twist their feet enough.
- Defense: Grace defended his actions, noting that he was standing on a steep upslope. He was familiar with the rule and did not feel guilty for getting the relief.
“A rule is a rule, and I took advantage of the rule there, and it helped knowing the rule in some respects. Fortunately for me, I got away with a good drop but I still made bogey. The rules are there for a reason. Sometimes it works in your advantage, and sometimes it doesn’t. In this case it did.”
This post appeared originally as part of the Daily Rundown.