Rickie Fowler has a tree problem at TPC Sawgrass. Last year while defending his Players title, Fowler had a ball lodge in one of the trees lining the fairways at TPC Sawgrass, and this year he had the same thing happen, which led to a missed cut on Friday.
Playing the 6th hole, his 15th of the day, Fowler was 5-under par on his round and 3-under par for the tournament, well inside the cut line. He hung his tee shot on the 393-yard par four out to the right hoping for a good kick that never came. Fowler’s ball was believed to be stuck in the husks of a palm tree.
“Believed to be” is the operable phrase in that last sentence because even using PGA Tour rules official Mark Russell’s binoculars, Fowler was unable to identify his ball.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 11, 2018
After a few minutes of looking for his identifying orange markings and an unsuccessful attempt by fans to shake the ball loose, Fowler had to re-tee making his first of two consecutive double bogeys.
“It’s a rare occasion,” Fowler said. “Obviously didn’t make a great swing, but it’s five yards right of the fairway and the marshals and fans were standing right there, saw it was the tree it hit and obviously got stuck up there. Unfortunately, the part of the ball that was showing was just all the white and dimples.
“I mean, if a ball happens to hit something and go into a hazard, it’s not like you have to go identify the ball inside the hazard or in the water. It’s, ‘Hey, we saw it go right here,’ So, I mean it was pretty clear that the ball was there, that was where everybody saw it go and heard it go. But not the case with that one.”
The Players becomes Fowler’s third missed cut of the year joining the Farmers Insurance Open and the Honda Classic.