Koepka gets no relief at Ryder Cup; saves par anyway

Team USA's Brooks Koepka hits from a bunker on the eighth hole during a foursomes match the Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits Golf Course Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Sheboygan, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Jeff Roberson, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – The match was slipping away and Brooks Koepka's fragile wrist was at risk.

Ryder Cup officials didn't much care about any of that Saturday when they ruled against him, refusing to grant Koepka relief from an awkward lie near a drain on the 15th hole.

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Koepka and his partner, Daniel Berger, argued with a pair of rules officials that a drain placed near a bunker to the right of the fairway would interfere with Koepka's downswing — an issue that put Koepka at increased risk because he has been dealing with a wrist injury.

Earlier this month, he was forced to withdraw from the Tour Championship after hitting into a tree root he could not see at East Lake. This time, with the obstruction in plain view, he didn't want a repeat.

“If I break my wrist, it's on (expletive) both of you," Koepka told the officials after the ruling was made.

According to Rule 16.1, free relief is allowed when an abnormal course condition, including immovable obstructions such as a drain, “physically interferes with the player’s area of intended stance or area of intended swing.”

But referee David Price would not grant relief because he said the drain did not interfere with Koepka's swing. Another official, Mark Litton, was called over and also refused relief for Koepka.

“Have you ever seen me hit a ball? Don't you think my club might hit right here?” Koepka argued, as he pointed at the drain tucked into the area near a bunker and situated a pace or two ahead of the ball.

After the ruling, Koepka chopped down on the ball and got it to the front of the green. He and Berger combined to two-putt and tie the hole. They went on to lose 3 and 1 to Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm.


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