Adam Schenk was the latest victim of a violation of a new rule. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker
For the second time this week at the Honda Classic a player has been penalized for violating one of golf’s new rules.
On Saturday, Adam Schenk was issued a two-stroke penalty for his caddie standing behind him once he took a stance in the bunker on the par-3 17th during Friday’s second round at PGA National. Schenk played the shot without backing away, leading to the violation.
“We were just talking about probably chunking it in front of us in the bunker to leave myself a decent chance to get up-and-down for bogey,” Schenk said on Saturday after shooting two-under 68 to sit three strokes off the lead. “That’s what we were talking about.
“The intention was never to line me up. You could see that I had a fried egg lie on the side of a bunker.”
Rule 10.2b(4) states that a player is not allowed to have his or her caddie deliberately stand behind him or her when the player begins taking a stance because aiming at the intended target is one of the challenges the player must overcome alone.
The rule also states that although there is no set procedure for determining when a player has begun to take a stance, if a player has his or her feet or body close to a position where guidance on aiming at the target could be given, it should be decided that the player has begun to take his or her stance.
Had Schenk backed out of his stance, there would have been no penalty.
Officials said they were alerted to the infraction on Friday, though declined to specify how, and reviewed video before approaching Schenk on the driving range about 40 minutes prior to his scheduled third-round tee time.
“I was upset,” Schenk said. “I felt like I was polite. But I was just asking questions, and after a couple of questions I was just like, I’m just going to get a two-shot penalty, so I might as well just go warm up.”
Rule 10.2b(4) has come under fire recently with Haotong Li the first player penalized under the new rule earlier this year in Dubai. Just a few days later, Denny McCarthy was also penalized at the Waste Management Phoenix Open before the PGA Tour rescinded the penalty, after speaking with the USGA and Justin Thomas, who had voiced his concern over a similar situation involving him and his caddie at the Phoenix Open.
“I guess technically by the rule, I did, and Denny by the rule deserved a penalty, as well,” Schenk said. “But I don’t think Denny should have been penalized.
“I guess I did break the rule, so I guess I should be penalized. But you know, you just can’t hope for leniency, just probably never do it again.”