It’s February, and that means that the PGA Tour will be heading to Pacific Palisades, California for its annual tournament at the Riviera Country Club, aka “Hogan’s Alley.” Players competing in the 2017 Genesis Open will have to contend with putting on poa annua grass greens, as well as hacking through the gnarly kikuyu grass rough. They will also be challenged by one of the more unusual par-3 holes in the world. The 6th hole at Riviera, as designed by George C. Thomas, Jr. about 90 years ago, has a bunker smack dab in the middle of the green! In this month’s quiz, see if you can provide some of our PGA Tour superstars with the correct rulings on this hole.
- During Round 1, with the hole cut in the back-left portion of the green, and with his ball lying on the right-front portion of the green, the intervening bunker prevents Jordan Spieth from putting directly toward the hole. Thus, Jordan decides to use a lob wedge to loft his ball over the bunker. In playing this unusual stroke from the putting green, which of the following is true? (a) Jordan may not take a divot in the green. (b) He may leave the flagstick in the hole unattended, but there is a two-stroke penalty if his ball strikes the flagstick. (c) Jordan may not ground his lob wedge when addressing his ball. (d) Jordan’s caddie may hold up the flagstick six inches to the side of the hole to show Jordan the desired line of play.
- For Round 2, the hole is cut in the front-right portion of the green, and Dustin Johnson’s tee shot ends up in the back-left area of the green. Dustin gambles on putting his ball on an aggressive line through the fringe adjacent to the bunker. Something in the fringe deflects his ball into the bunker and his ball ends up under the lip of the bunker. At that point, how may Dustin proceed if he deems his ball unplayable? (a) He may drop his ball on the putting green behind the bunker on the line extending from the hole through the point where his ball lay in the bunker. (b) He may drop his ball on the putting green within two club-lengths of, and no nearer the hole than, where his ball lies in the bunker. (c) Either (a) or (b). (d) He may leave his ball in the bunker, and place another ball on the spot from which he just played on the putting green.
Jason Day’s tee shot splashes out of the bunker and ends up on a sprinkler head in the fringe adjacent to the bunker. The nearest point of relief from the sprinkler head is in the fringe about one foot from the edge of the putting green. A one club-length measurement from the nearest point of relief perpendicular to the hole in one direction extends onto the putting green; in the opposite direction, it extends into the bunker. In taking relief from the sprinkler head, Jason: (a) Must drop the ball in the fringe within one club-length of, and not nearer the hole than, the nearest point of relief. (b) May place the ball on the putting green within one club-length of, and not nearer the hole than, the nearest point of relief. (c) May drop the ball in the bunker within one club-length of, and not nearer the hole than, the nearest point of relief. (d) Either (b) or (c).
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