SAN ANTONIO — There are quite a few nuances that make golfing in Texas a minimal different than elsewhere.
Bermuda that can mess with the world’s most effective. Consistent breezes generally originating in the Gulf of Mexico. Knotty reside oaks that achieve significantly and extensive as a result of undulating Hill Nation fairways.
And as Hideki Matsuyama discovered out during his closing round on Sunday at the Valero Texas Open up, the most painful obstacle of all — fire ants.
Matsuyama opened his closing round on the TPC San Antonio Oaks System with a pair of birdies on his 1st four holes to get back on the leaderboard. He gave one particular again on the sixth hole but seemed in great placement on the par-5 No. 8 when his next shot rolled into thick grass just off the eco-friendly. Matsuyama, who at the time was 3 beneath for the match, chipped from 30 yards absent, offering himself a good glimpse at birdie.
Shortly just after, nevertheless, Matsuyama sprung from the grass, wiping the bottom of his white trousers. He recognized he’d been standing in a pile of fireplace ants, a hazard that can leave a long lasting impression.
As Sung Kang chipped and Graeme McDowell putted, Matsuyama sat just off the green, making an attempt mightily to wipe the ants absent whilst pulling his footwear and socks off in the method.
Following ultimately accumulating himself, Matsuyama burned the edge on a 10-foot birdie putt and was tapped in for par. He followed with bogeys on each and every of the up coming two holes.
ICYMI: Hideki Matsuyama pulled off his sneakers and socks just after finding bitten by fireplace ants on No. 8. He missed his birdie putt and bogeyed the up coming two holes — possible with damp toes. @valerotxopen pic.twitter.com/EbY4OsSiTk
— Tim Schmitt (@TMSGolfweek) April 4, 2021
According to the Rules, Matsuyama would have been ready to find aid if he wished-for, but he chose not to.
Because ant hills might pose a wide variety of difficulties for a golfer, they are coated in the Guidelines of Golfing in Rule 16, which addresses irregular training course situations. The Rule exclusively lets for reduction from dangerous animal disorders (16.2) this sort of as hearth ants, stinging bees, alligators and even bears. A common ant hill is not regarded an abnormal ground situation.
A participant could acquire reduction from these types of risky circumstances if they interfere with his or her ball or area of supposed stance or swing.
When the ball is in the common area, a participant could consider absolutely free reduction from an irregular floor issue by discovering the closest point of full relief and having a fall within a single club length of that spot.
Regrettably, when in a penalty location a player’s only selection to escape a dangerous animal situation, like fireplace ants, is to get reduction below 17.1d, which addresses relief in a penalty location. That signifies the player will incur one penalty stroke.
Cost-free aid is not always granted, significantly if the hazardous animal problem is not promptly apparent. In Memphis last summer months, Bryson DeChambeau notoriously requested for a fall immediately after he mentioned a fire ant hole was impeding his stance.
“It seems like an ant gap, or ant place,” DeChambeau said to PGA Tour match referee Ken Tackett at the WGC party.
“I just really don’t see Bryson, truthfully … I do not see fireplace ants,” Tackett stated immediately after some dialogue.