Leading player Brooks Koepka caught in rules-breaking controversy

Brooks Koepka (USA) won the clubhouse leader by performing well for two days in a row in the Masters. However, it was embroiled in a rule violation controversy, leaving a bitter aftertaste.

On the second day of the tournament held at Augusta National Golf Club (par 72) in Augusta, Georgia, USA on the 8th (Korean time), Koepka caught 1 eagle and 3 birdies without bogey and hit 5 under par 67. Koepka, who recorded an interim total of 12 under par and 132 strokes, rose to the clubhouse leader by three strokes over John Rahm (Spain), who played up to the ninth hole before the game was stopped.

The match was suspended twice due to bad weather, so 39 players could not finish the match. A strong wind blew at the competition site, causing an accident in which large pine trees around the 17th hole were uprooted. The moment the tree fell, many galleries were scattered and fortunately no one was injured.

Koepka became a problem when he was involved in a suspected rule violation in the 15th hole (par 5) during the first round the previous day. It is said that Koepka’s caddy told the caddy of his fellow player, Gary Woodland (USA), which club he used for the second shot. Koepka succeeded in 2-on with a 5-iron and caught a birdie, and Woodland also used a 5-iron to get a birdie.

The Masters Rules Committee reviewed the recorded video of the match and called in the people involved to investigate the situation, but dismissed the charges. The rules committee issued a statement saying that “no one involved has requested or given advice.” Under Rule 10.2a of Golf, a breach of the advice clause results in a penalty stroke for both sides for a breach of the Rules. A two-stroke penalty is imposed if the player asks or informs which club the player was using.

After taking his second shot on the 15th hole, Koepka opened his hand before taking off his glove and made a ‘5’ gesture. According to the recorded video of the first round, Koepka’s caddy puts a 5-iron into the golf bag and says ‘five’ to Woodland’s caddy.

After completing the second round, Koepka was asked by reporters about the situation on the 15th hole the previous day, but he answered with a smile, “You can’t take off your gloves while holding your fist?” She continued, “If Woodland knew I used a 5-iron, he would have grabbed a 6-iron,” she added, “because he had more than 10 yards off the tee than me.” In fact, Woodland sent 22 yards more than Koepka with his tee shot on the 15th hole, adamantly denying that “nobody did anything wrong.”

Koepka is on the rise after winning the LIV Golf Series in Orlando last week. Koepka, who has won 8 victories on the PGA Tour, has decorated 4 of them as major victories and is called a ‘major hunter’. He won the US Open twice and the PGA Championship twice each.

John Rahm, who started the second round with a tie for the lead with Koepka, was on the rise with consecutive birdies on the 8th and 9th holes, and the game was stopped. Victor Hovlan (Norway), another co-leader, lost one stroke until the 10th hole and tied for 4th place with Colin Morikawa and Sam Burns (above USA) with an interim total of 6 under par. 안전놀이터

Among the Korean players, Lee Gyeong-hoon played the best game. Lee Kyung-hoon, who had been sluggish with a 2-over par in the first round the previous day, cut 5 strokes with 7 birdies and 2 bogeys to rise to a tie for 18th place with a 3-under-par 141 strokes. Kim Joo-hyung was tied for 22nd place with an average total of 2 under par and 142 strokes at even par. Kim Joo-hyung caught 4 birdies, but committed 2 bogeys and 1 double bogey.

Lim Seong-jae tied for 29th with defending champion Scotty Scheffler (USA), who lost 3 strokes that day with an average total of 1 under par through the 8th hole. However, Kim Si-woo tied for 44th with an intermediate total of 1 over par 145 strokes, and after watching the performance of other players, the decision to pass the cut was made. In the Masters, up to a tie for 50th place advances to the final round. Tiger Woods (USA) is tied for 50th with an interim total of 2 over par up to the 11th hole. Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) lost 5 strokes and was tied for 61st place with an interim total of 5 over par 149 strokes, so it is certain that he will be eliminated from the cut.

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