Keeping Score

Viktor Hovland incurs 2-stroke penalty after round

After moving his mark as a courtesy to a competitor, Hovland fails to return coin to original spot, then unknowingly signs lower score

2: Number of penalty strokes that Viktor Hovland was assessed Thursday in the first round of the PGA Tour’s Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., after he inadvertently played his ball from the wrong spot on the green at the 15th hole. Hovland already had signed for an apparent 2-under 70 and left TPC Sawgrass when he was alerted via social media that he had putted from the wrong spot. He had moved his mark one putter-head-length to clear the line for playing competitor Justin Thomas but then upon replacing the mark, Hovland mistakenly moved it one putter-head-length farther in the same direction. He played his next stroke two putter-head lengths from where he was supposed to be. After Hovland contacted the PGA Tour about the potential violation, the tournament rules committee reviewed a video of the incident. Hovland agreed to the infraction, under Rule 14.7 (“Playing from Wrong Place”). Because Hovland, 23, a two-time winner from Norway, signed his scorecard without knowledge of the violation, he was not disqualified but instead assessed a two-stroke penalty. His score was adjusted to 72, dropping him from a tie for 12th into a tie for 42nd, seven strokes behind leader Sergio Garcia (scores).

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