There’s a reason why they say golf is a gentleman’s game and it’s because of instances like this. On Thursday during the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship, Ernie Els appeared to chip in for an eagle three on the par-5 12th hole at Wentworth Golf Club. However, according to the four-time major winner, something wasn’t quite right.
As it turns out, Els’ approach was embedded next to the bunker so he asked his playing partners if it would be fine to identify it, which is allowed under the rules of golf. He replaced the ball and then did this:
Vintage Ernie ?? pic.twitter.com/ujekOfqZBo
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 25, 2017
The thing is the 47-year-old South African, who’s as honorable as humans come, felt compelled to call a two-stroke penalty on himself.
“I just felt uncomfortable by the way the ball came out,” Els said after the round. “The ball came out way too good, so I felt I didn’t quite probably put it (back) exactly where I should have.”
According to Els, he violated Rule 20-7 for “playing from wrong place” by not adequately replacing the ball back to its original spot. Therefore took a five on the hole, instead of a three and went on to post a first round score of 71.
“Under the rules, you try and put it back the way you think it should be, but I still felt uncomfortable with it, so we took a two-shot penalty,” Els said. “The game of golf is what it is. I know deep down the ball wasn’t quite where it should be. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. So be it. It’s a five and we move on.”
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