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The bunker on the 16th hole at Oak Hill that helped Koepka win.

“Major hunter” Brooks Koepka (USA) won the PGA Championship on Sunday, but it was a fairway bunker on the 16th hole at Oak Hill that changed the course of the tournament.

Koepka birdied the par-4, 464-yard 16th hole at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., on Sept. 22 to extend his lead to four strokes and put an end to a one-stroke chase by his teammate Viktor Hovland (Norway).

Let’s go back to the 16th hole. Koepka’s tee shot sailed just over a bunker on the right side of the fairway at 290 yards and landed in the downhill rough at 311 yards. From 157 yards, he hit an exquisite second shot to within 1.2 meters of the hole for birdie.

Koepka’s second shot on the 16th [Photo: PGA of America].

Meanwhile, Hovlan, who had birdied the 13th and 14th holes in a row, found his tee shot in the same bunker. With 174 yards to the pin, Hovlan’s second shot hit into the dense grass just above the bunker lip. A steward was called as it appeared that part of the ball had also touched the bunker.

The steward ruled that the spot was not a bunker but a general area and, in accordance with Rule 16.3, the ball was to be dropped one club length from the rough, not close to the hole, without penalty. After dropping into the rough, Hovlan played his third shot and holed out for a double bogey.

According to the Rules of Golf 16.3b/1, the relief procedure requires the player to find a spot in the general area immediately behind the ball and the closest point that is not close to the hole. From there, it is defined as dropping the ball within one club length and continuing with the next play. In this situation, there is a question as to whether the ball should be dropped in the bunker or penalized, but if it is included in the general area, there is no penalty.

Connors’ third shot on the 16th hole [Photo: PGA of America].

Amazingly, the exact same situation had occurred the day before at the exact same spot. Playing in the rain, leader Corey Connors (CAN) fell into this bunker for his second shot, and neither he nor anyone else could find the ball. The ball was stuck in the grass above the lip of the bunker.

With only a slight angle on the ball and a chance for birdie on the green, Connors dropped the ball into the long rough next to the bunker. The only place in the general area that wasn’t a bunker that wasn’t close to the hole was the deep rough.

His third shot from there landed in the rough 25 meters in front of the green and he ended up with a double bogey, knocking him off the lead. Frustrated, Connors lost five strokes on the final day and finished tied for 12th.메이저사이트

Koepka, a live-golf player, has been plagued by injuries over the last year, but he was able to bounce back to win his third WarnerMaker Trophy and fifth major. He will be grateful for the hole that gave him par through three rounds and a birdie on the final day.

The bunker on the 16th, where Koepka made birdie and Hovland and Connors made bogeys, could be nicknamed the “live bunker”.

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