The first round of the Honda Classic gave both Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas even more ammunition for their shared disdain for the modernized Rules of Golf.
Playing alongside one another over the first two rounds of the event, Fowler and Thomas both encountered the new rules in action on Thursday at PGA National. Fowler toyed around with the new drop rule while Thomas fiddled with the adjusted rule on clubs damaged in the course of play.
Fowler, who took a drop from a plugged lie in the fairway on Thursday, mocked the new drop procedure with some bathroom humor.
Rickie shows us the proper way to take a drop. pic.twitter.com/j8AgWz0XHq
— Skratch (@Skratch) February 28, 2019
“They said they loved it. I haven’t heard anything negative from other players,” Fowler said, according to GolfChannel.com. “A lot of guys were talking about it early in the season, back when I hadn’t started yet, when we were watching guys take drops. We were all laughing, making fun of it.
“We all want to grow the game, and you’re not going to grow the game making it look funny, or making guys do unathletic things. You want the sport to look cool. Ultimately, you want to bring more of the younger generation in. When you have people making fun of it, that doesn’t do the game justice.
“We want people to watch, and we want to bring people into the sport who aren’t necessarily already playing golf. If they see something that may not look cool, that doesn’t help.”
As for Thomas, his latest brush with the rules came on the 10th hole at PGA National. With his drive coming to rest close to a tree, JT was able to hit his second shot, but only before his 9-iron went crashing into the tree.
Just look at the bark come off the tree. ? pic.twitter.com/j627OpftwY
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 28, 2019
“I thought the way the club was going to hit the tree it was just going to break, and being at home, I was like, all right, I just have to avoid a 9-iron the rest of the day,” Thomas said after the round, according to Golf.com. “But it didn’t break, it kind of hit kind of near the hosel and just kind of sent a little shock up my arm.”
Under the new rules, Thomas was well within his rights to continue to use the newly-damaged club or attempt to fix it. He tried to step on the hosel to fix the club, but wasn’t comfortable putting it back in play the rest of the day.
“You can just add that one to the list of rules that don’t make any sense,” Thoms said of his ability to use the damaged club if he so chose.
Both Fowler and Thomas made it into the weekend, Thomas on the number at 2-over par and Fowler in contention at 2-under par.