Why Billy Horschel made a decisive decision from 300 yards

Billy Hurschel (in the red jersey) presents his case on Sunday.

PGA Tour/CBS Sports

Golf may be a game of inches but sometimes golfers and their partners are asked to rate those inches from hundreds of meters away.

On Sunday, in the final round of the Zurich Classic, Billy Hurschel and teammate Sam Burnsplay partners, Jason Day and Jason Scrivener, found themselves in just such a situation when Burns shot the 299-yard hole-bar-4 at TPC Louisiana, which plunged into a lake to the left of the green.

Shoot T-shirt Burns at 16.

PGA Tour

I touched the ball on the bank where it entered the water. The main question was, on which side of the danger line did the ball land? If it had landed on the inner side of the line, Horschel—who was playing the next shot in alternate-shot format—would be allowed to land within two batting lengths of that spot not near the hole (See Box 2 below), which would have left Horschel with a fairly straightforward chip.

But if the ball rebounded on the danger side of the line, Horschel would have had to drop his drop from the point where his ball most recently crossed into the danger zone (See Box 1 below), which would have resulted in a longer and more difficult wedge shot. With the championship still in the balance and Hurschel and Burns competing, the verdict was decisive.

Two potential projection options (locations are approximate).

PGA Tour/CBS Sports

one problem. Nobody had a definitive reading of where the ball landed. It was hard to tell from a tee. From restarting the TV, it was hard to tell. To any district official or volunteer – yes, that was hard to tell.

So it was up to Horschel, who was keeping a close eye on Burns’ tee shot—well, you can watch a 1.68-inch ball from 900 feet away closely. Horschel’s best would say, the ball first touched above the line.

“I don’t think I could have seen the ball go under the red line from behind there [the tee] Horschel said while his group and the walking official discussed the matter. “So, for me to see it go down, it has to be above the red line. But I am 300 yards away.”

“Yeah, I can’t say either,” Dai said. Did the TV get it by chance?

TV Act You have, but just kind of. The camera angle was such that the referee came too close to call. You can view it all here:

The provisions of the PGA Tour can make the TV hold. You have the protagonist arguing his case; other players and bags that describe everything they saw (or didn’t see); Responsible in the role of a detective, surveying the situation and asking relevant questions; Another grammar expert – in this case Craig Winter of the USGA – He weighed in on TV broadcasts. In the age of judgments, as we have seen with Victor Hovland and Joel Dahmin vs Daniel Berger At The Players Championship earlier this year, you even have eyewitnesses challenge the protagonist, leading to some of the most tense drama you’ll see in not just golf but any sport.

In Zurich, no one objected to what Horschel said he had seen, but we did get one delightfully candid remark from Dai, who said, “I didn’t see it glisten, but I didn’t really care about it.”

Later in the episode, Gary Young, the lead referee for the tour, joined the mix by radio.

Young can be heard saying of Hurschel’s characterization of the ball’s trajectory: “We have to follow what they know.” “So, if he was confident that he bounced there—”

“—I swear to God she bounced back,” Hurschel jumped. ” I know bounce.”

When asked about the incident after his tour, Hurschel added, “I’m one to play it safe, but I was pretty confident the ball landed over the red line.”

And it was. Officials considered that the ball had touched the line above the line, and Horschel began the fall action next to the green. After his first two dropping attempts rolled down the slope and across the danger line, Horschel put his ball down. From there, Horschel hit a neat slide two feet away, and Burns arranged the knockout.

There was a funky parity in the books, and so was another chapter in the intrigue of the PGA Tour rules.

Alain Bastable

Golf.com Editor

As the Executive Editor of GOLF.com, Bastable is responsible for the editorial direction and voice of one of the game’s most respected and popular news and service sites. He wears many hats—editing, writing, thinking, developing, daydreaming for a day breaking 80’s—and feels privileged to work with an insanely talented and hardworking group of writers, editors and producers. Before taking over at GOLF.com, he was the Feature Editor at GOLF Magazine. He graduated from the University of Richmond and Columbia College of Journalism, and lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.