During the first round of the Memorial Tournament, Matt Kuchar landed his tee shot on the par-4 17th in a pitch mark, and then landed himself in a controversy after being caught arguing with multiple officials.
According to rules, a player would be entitled to relief if a ball comes to rest in his own pitch mark, but Kuchar’s ball was ruled to have come to rest in another player’s mark.
Kuchar then attempted to sell the idea that his ball created a second pitch mark, but two PGA Tour rules officials – Robbie Ware and Stephen Cox – determined that was not the case, and told Kuchar he would have to play the ball as it lies.
Per Golf Channel, the transcript went as follows:
Kuchar: “I’m just saying, there’s potential that it broke new ground in making its secondary pitch.”
Cox: “Matt — the ball came to rest right there, and we know that it’s not your pitch mark.”
Kuchar: “I’m saying, if you look at the film, it looks like it’s gone hard enough to break new ground.”
Cox: “Ultimately, it’s already in a hole that’s made by someone else, and I’m not buying that on a secondary bounce, we’re going to get you out of a pitch mark that’s been made by somebody else.”
Kuchar eventually hit a 7-iron to just off the back of the green, and got up and down for par.
Afterwards, Kuchar realized he was in the middle of another controversy, and said, “The rules officials, they know the rules a lot better than I do. I thought there was potential that it might have broken additional ground and is that a new embedded ball. I’m not sure, and that’s why we have the rules officials.”
Earlier this season, Kuchar was accused of cheating a fill-in caddie at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico of his deserved earnings (He won $1.2 million and paid the caddie only $5,000). After the story went viral, Kuchar relented and paid the caddie what he sought.
Several months later, at the WGC-Dell Match Play event in Austin, Kuchar was involved in a controversy with Sergio Garcia, where he was accused of not conceding a tap-in putt on time. Kuchar went on to win his match but lost in the final to Kevin Kisner.