Suffice it to say Jon Rahm was glad to have a five-shot lead heading to the 18th tee at the Memorial.
That’s because it turned out to have been a three-shot lead. That margin — three — turned out to be the final gap between him and runner-up Ryan Palmer, but not before a bit of last-minute rules intrigue on the finishing stretch during an action-packed finale at Muirfield Village.
Rahm effectively iced the tournament with a miraculous chip-in birdie at the treacherous par-3 16th, calling to mind Tiger Woods’ iconic flop shot from yesteryear.
But as Rahm finished out on 17, the CBS broadcast made an ominous cut back to a slow-motion replay of that shot, showing Rahm’s wedge pressing down behind his TaylorMade golf ball. Did the ball move?
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) July 19, 2020
“From my very first look in slow-mo I did not think it went back to its original position,” Nick Faldo said on the CBS broadcast. “It’s one dimple. It’s one dimple, I’m saying from here.”
“There could be a nuance to that ruling,” analyst Ian Baker-Finch added, recalling the rules change dictating that the ball’s move would have to be visible to the naked eye and not just slow-motion cameras.
“If the Committee concludes that such facts could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye and the player was not otherwise aware of a potential breach of the Rules, the player will be deemed not to have breached the Rules, even when video technology shows otherwise.”
Rahm was interviewed by Amanda Balionis immediately following his finish at No. 18, and it was clear from his reaction that he had no idea there was a ruling in question, but said he would accept any appropriate penalty.
Jon Rahm addresses the possibility of his ball moving prior to chipping it in on 16. pic.twitter.com/y5KNRUlzBx
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) July 19, 2020
Article originally appeared on: Golf.com