The Rules of Golf jumped up and bit another Tour hopeful in Europe on Monday as Englishman Gian-Marco Petrozzi was penalized two strokes on the final hole of the European Tour’s second stage of Q-School, robbing him of a chance to compete in a playoff for an alternate spot in next week’s Final Stage.
Having played the first 17 holes in 6-under par — including an ace on his eighth hole of the day — Petrozzi walked off his distance to the pin on the 18th hole, which included him walking through a bunker. Thinking he was exercising proper etiquette, Petrozzi raked his footprints as he made his way back to his ball to hit his shot, but he was informed after getting up and down to birdie the hole that he was in breach of Rule 13-2 for improving his line of play.
— Golf Monthly (@GolfMonthly) November 6, 2018
Entering the final round of Stage 2 at even par, his 6-under par round was knocked down to 4-under, causing his four-round total to come up three shots shy of qualification and two shots shy of a playoff for Final Stage alternate status.
— Gian-Marco Petrozzi (@GianPetrozzi55) November 5, 2018
“Tough lesson learned today in the last round of Q School stage 2,” Petrozzi wrote on Twitter. “After making a hole in one and finishing with 5 birdies in the last 6 to shoot 65 and make a play off for an alternate spot I signed my card then 20 minutes later found I was given a 2 shot penalty on the last hole for pacing out a yardage walking through a bunker then raking the footprints before walking back and hitting my shot over the bunker and onto the green.
“I wasn’t aware that I was making this mistake but it is classed as ‘improving line of play.'”
This is the second such qualifying ruling that has cost a player dearly this fall with LPGA Tour Q-Series hopeful Doris Chen being disqualified following accusations that her spectating mother moved an out-of-bounds ball back into play.
Chen, who claims she didn’t know the ball was moved back in bounds, was made aware that the ball had been moved, which resulted in the ruling that she had played a wrong ball from an altered lie.