Korea’s Seonghyeon Kim endured one of those heart-crushing misses: a 3-foot, 4-inch putt that did a full 360-degree trip around the cup and hung on the lip at the 72nd hole of the CJ Cup in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Kim did what any golfer would have done. He stared at the hole in disbelief and I tried to will the ball to drop for a finishing birdie. A golfer is granted a “reasonable amount of time to reach the hole plus 10 seconds,” according to The Rules of Golf.
Kim’s putt eventually dropped just before he tapped it in for what seemingly would have been a birdie to finish at 17-under 271. There was only one problem: it took a total of 26 seconds from the time when his ball stopped above the cup to the moment it dropped into it.
Kim was assessed a one-stroke penalty (in violation of Rule 13.3a); that brings us to the second rule violation. Since Kim already had signed his card, combined with his failure to include an unknown penalty, Kim was only assessed a one-stroke penalty, turning his birdie into a par, instead of disqualification (Exception to Rule 3.3).
The penalty cost him $17,000 in prize money and some non-member FedEx Cup points.