Players Championship: Fowler needs binoculars, rules official's shoulder to find ball



May 11 (UPI) — Golfer Rickie Fowler had to use binoculars and a rules official’s shoulder in order to find an errant tee shot Friday at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Fowler’s folly occurred on hole No. 6 in the second round of the tournament. He sent his tee shot 237 yards and well right of the fairway on the 374-yard Par 4. Fans in the gallery searched for the ball, before it was found in one of the palm trees. Fowler also needed to find the ball in order to take a drop. He used the binoculars for the task.

Fans tried to shake the ball loose from the tree but failed to get it out. Fowler ended up retaking his tee shot and giving up a stroke. He hit his third shot 226 yards to the left fairway, 108 yards from the hole. His fourth shot made the green. Fowler two putted for a double bogey.

“It’s hard because my hands are shaking, but I feel like I can feel an orange dot on the side,” Fowler said after looking up at the trees for his ball. “It’s on the very edge of it.”

“If you feel like you can identify it, we’ll operate from here,” a rules official said.

“It’s just hard because my hands are shaking a little … Like I said, I feel like I can see a little bit of orange, but I can’t tell you,” Fowler said. “It’s not like the dot’s sitting straight at me.”

The official then let Fowler rest the binoculars on his left shoulder while he examined the position of the ball and looked for his orange dot ball marker.

Fowler also went on to double bogey hole No. 7 and shot a one-over-par 37 on the front nine. Fowler carded a two-under-par 34 on the back nine, finishing with a round of 71.

He finished the round tied for 89th, below the projected cut line.

Fowler sits at No. 6 in the Official World Golf Rankings. The 29-year-old finished tied 21st at the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship and second at the 2018 Masters Tournament. Fowler tied for 60th at The Players Championship in 2017. He missed the cut in 2016 and won the tournament in 2015.

Webb Simpson is 15-under-par and leads the tournament by five shots heading into Saturday’s third round.



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