He watched. And waited. And watched some more. And finally, Si Woo Kim’s birdie putt fell. Yet in the end, he still made par.
Kim’s putt from off the green on the third hole during Saturday’s third round of the RBC Heritage came in on a perfect line. And it had what looked like the perfect speed, covering just over 32 feet before it took a quick turn at the end.
But the ball came to rest just on the edge of the cup, and Kim waited for a bit, watching in awe with playing partner Matt Kuchar that it didn’t fall.
It took a minute, but finally, the ball did fall in the hole, drawing an ovation from those following the group. Kim smiled wide, as did Kuchar.
But soon after, a rules official had to come over to give Kim the bad news — the ball had taken too long to drop and he was assessed a penalty stroke.
Si Woo Kim’s birdie putt hung on the edge for over a minute. 😮
Per the rules, a stroke will be added and it will be counted as par since it took longer than 10 seconds to drop. pic.twitter.com/jU3ayv9Mu2
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 17, 2021
As Rule 16-2 notes, when a ball overhangs the lip a player is allowed time to reach the hole without “unreasonable delay” and an additional 10 seconds to determine if the ball is at rest. If the ball falls in the hole in that timespan, the player is deemed to have holed out with the putt and is given that score.
Something similar happened to Zach Johnson in the 2018 Travelers Championship.
Kim continued to shine, posting consecutive birdies on the following two holes, but that stroke certainly could have helped his case as he tried to move into the top 10 at Harbour Town. He currently sits 47th in the Official World Golf Ranking and at No. 42 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.