Monday 24 October 2016

Colt fires bullet in direction of officials after pin blunder

Graeme McDowell plays his shot from the tenth tee. Pic: Reuters
Graeme McDowell plays his shot from the tenth tee. Pic: Reuters
Colt Knost. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

American Colt Knost was furious with tournament officials after his bid for a first major title was hampered in bizarre circumstances in the US PGA Championship.

Knost was in the first group out at 7am local time and began the day just four shots off the lead held after carding an opening 69 at Baltusrol.

However, the 31-year-old and playing partners Joe Summerhays and Yuta Ikeda had not been informed that the pin position on the 10th hole - their first - had been changed from one side of the green to the other.

Knost and Ikeda both bogeyed the hole and, although the latter recovered to shoot 67 and finish three under, Knost's 73 left him two over par and facing an anxious wait to see if he would make the cut.

"The pin sheet was 20 (yards) off," Knost said after his round.

"People are going to say we should be able to tell what side of the green it's on, but I was 210 yards out and it was raining rather hard.


"We just expect the pin to be right. It said it was 21 (yards on) and four from the left and I played to the right side of the green because I had five wood in and so I had plenty of green to work with if I missed it.

"I missed it right and we get up there and it is 19 on and three from the right.

"It's a big deal and it shouldn't happen in tournaments like this - it shouldn't happen in any tournament.

"I called an official over and said, 'What's going on here' and he said, 'We messed up' and they went and told the group behind us and printed out a new one (pin sheet)," he added.

Knost's group was met by PGA of America chief championships officer Kerry Haigh as they signed their cards and Knost added: "He apologised. They messed up and they're sorry. It affected one group and it was us.


"It sucks. I made bogey there and that could be the difference between me playing tomorrow or not. I hope it's not, but it will be pretty frustrating if it is."

Knost was also unhappy that preferred lies had not been implemented, despite the overnight rain and weather forecast, adding: "I got it out of my system and went out and played, but it was tough this morning - 100 per cent it should have been lift, clean and place. There's puddles everywhere, visible puddles on the fairway from the first tee. With the forecast I don't know why you just don't go ahead and be safe."

Pin positions on the eighth and 16th were also changed due to the bad weather, with a total of three different pin sheets given to players and caddies.

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