Mark Hensby’s second PGA TOUR event in three-and-a-half years at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree went well through 8 holes of Round 1 until he noticed something twisted on his golf ball. It was a tiny speck on his Titleist ProV1 that he had never seen before.
After bouncing off the first three with birdies on each of the par-3 9 holes, he had just par on the eighth hole and ended up on 2 when he noticed a discrepancy.
“I asked the caddy, ‘Hey, what’s the point on the ball? I’ve never noticed this before. Did they do something with the new V1 Pro?’” Hensby told PGATOUR.COM, “and he doesn’t know. So I asked my playmate. and they’re like ̵6;That’s a low spin ball.’ Now I don’t use this ball. So there was a lot of confusion where it came from – none of my other balls had a point – but we knew I was playing the wrong ball.”
The 49-year-old Australian, who before February’s Puerto Rico Open had not played since the 2017 Sanderson Farms Championship, called in senior referee Mike Peterson and was assessed a two-stroke penalty for each hole he used a Model Local Rule G-ball. 4 – Sometimes Called One Ball Rule
Hensby unwittingly threw the ball into play after his third hit into the water at the fourth hole, which meant that his bogey-birdy-par-birdy-par run turned into a three-bogey-destruction. Bogie – Double Bogie – Double Bogie – He was over 12, although the news was shaken, he had a respectable 1-36 shot at defenders, leaving 13 goals 84 for him.
Unknowingly, Hensby later discovered that the ball in question belonged to Pat Perez and was accidentally swapped while the two warmed up on the green.
“I picked up one of Pat’s balls. And then he got one of my children,” he said. “I only discovered this because Titleist wanted to go into the details. I think they have the wrong ball in the sleeve I have.
“If you look at both children It’s hard to know the difference,” he continued, “not that one is black and the other is red. both are black but there is one small point and at one point no Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that. I’m glad he didn’t use mine.”
Prior to the 2019 rule changes, this type of violation was punishable by up to four strokes. But now it’s two shots per hole. The purpose of the rules is to prevent players from using balls of different playing characteristics depending on the nature of the hole or shot being played.
Russell Henley unwittingly violated the One Ball Rule in the second round at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in 2019. He became aware of the violation while signing an autograph after the round. And after adding eight shots to his points, he went from being in the match to missing a straddle.
Likewise, Hensby had no chance of playing over the weekend following the breach.
Ken Tackett, senior director of the PGA TOUR, said: “For a self-proclaimed Mark says a lot about him and the integrity of the game.”
2004 John Deere Classic winner was recalled from the reserve list late.
“I only played on Tuesdays,” Hensby said, “and I drove the truck 14 hours from Scottsdale to San Antonio on Sunday. So I feel a little stiff. I flew on Wednesday night Must be tested for covid before the time of the round And there is a chance if the results are delayed. I would have played a single at the back of the group. But fortunately those results came through.
“I was actually playing quite well,” he added. “I didn’t go to the top. But I birded in par 3 during that period and made good pars. I was 2 years old at the time and I felt good about my recovery. But after I got the penalty Of course it was difficult from that point on. And it was a shame because I knew my tournament was over.”
Hensby turns 50 on 29 June and is therefore looking to improve his game for the PGA TOUR Champions, which he hopes to play alongside fellow Australians of his generation, Rod Pampling, John Senden, Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby Hensby qualify for the Senior US Open at Omaha Country Club July 7-11.
“I am working hard to get my game back there,” he said. “I am looking forward to the Senior US Open and the Senior British Open and look forward to gaining status in the PGA TOUR Champions in order to have consistent playing time. more again.”
Additional reporting by Cameron Morfit at Congaree.