CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jordan Spieth is no stranger to consultations with rules officials during major championships.
During his victorious final round last month at The Open, Spieth needed more than 20 minutes to play a shot at the 13th hole after taking an unplayable from the rough and then additional relief from the equipment trailers next to Royal Birkdale’s driving range.
Spieth’s situation wasn’t nearly as dramatic Friday at Quail Hollow, but it once again evidenced a player looking to understand and use the Rules of Golf to his benefit.
After his drive at the par-5 10th came to rest on a cart path right of the fairway, Spieth called in a rules official to ask two very important questions about what he was and wasn’t allowed to do if he wanted to take a drop in the surrounding pine straw.
"How could I make a mistake here?"
Jordan Spieth checks in with a rules official after his wayward tee shot on 10. #PGAChamp pic.twitter.com/A1zYRnLJU3
— PGA of America (@PGA) August 11, 2017
PGA Championship: Scores | Live blog: Day 2 | Full coverage
“How can I make a mistake here?” he asked. “Give me how I could make a mistake here. What can’t I do?”
Spieth was informed that he could clear as much of the pine straw as he wanted – all the way down to the dirt – so long as he didn’t move anything “growing or fixed.”
So the three-time major winner dug himself a clean lie, attempted two failed drops that rolled back onto the cart path, and was then allowed to place his ball in the clearing he had just made.
Once the landscaping was over, Spieth hooked his second shot across the fairway and into the trees down the left, from where he proceeded to make a bogey-6, dropping him to 2 over on his round and 3 over for the championship.
Spieth wasn’t the only big name to take some interesting relief from a cart path right of the 10th hole Friday, as Rory McIlroy charted his own course from a service road nearer the green that trafficked his ball down towards No. 11.