A light-hearted moment turned into a rules conversation in the third round of the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. Playing alongside Jordan Spieth on a rain-trodden Saturday, Lee Hodges was faced with a 15-foot par save on the difficult par-4 17th.
His ball wrapped around the backend of the cup and hovered over the edge where it sat, oscillated and dared to drop to the bottom. At one point, even Spieth suggested the ball was still moving as the "Titleist" on Hodges' ball was rotating ever so slightly. Eventually, Hodges' ball did fall giving the gallery surrounding the putting surface something for which to cheer -- a true rarity for a hole that is averaging nearly +0.50 strokes over par in the early goings.
Hodges carded a four on the hole, but unfortunately, it did not last.
According to Rule 13.3, a player has a reasonable amount of time to reach his putt and then an additional 10 seconds before needing to play his next stroke, even if the ball is oscillating. There is some ambiguity to this rule but not nearly as much as Hodges took.
Hodges' process lasted more than 30 seconds, and after his third round was completed, he incurred a one-stroke penalty with his four changing to a five when he and Spieth entered the scoring tent at Oak Hill.
The 27-year-old ultimately signed for a 5-over 75 carding five bogeys and 13 pars on what is proving to be the most difficult day at the 2023 PGA Championship. Hodges stands at 10 over and outside the top 60.