Anna Nordqvist touched the sand in a bunker with her club, lost U.S. Women's Open
LPGA Tour

Anna Nordqvist touched the sand in a bunker with her club, lost U.S. Women’s Open


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Anna Nordqvist made an innocent mistake, and it cost her the 2016 U.S. Women's Open.

On the second hole of a three-hole aggregate playoff against Brittany Lang, Nordqvist's tee shot found the left side fairway bunker. As she was preparing to hit her second shot, the approach from the sand, Nordqvist's club appears to have hit touched the sand before taking it back. Under the Rules of Golf, a player is not able to touch the sand -- intentionally or otherwise -- with their club while their ball is in a hazard. The penalty under Rule 13-4 for grounding your club in a hazard -- and a sand bunker is considered a hazard -- is two strokes.


13-4. Ball in Hazard; Prohibited Actions

Except as provided in the Rules, before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard (whether a bunker or a water hazard) or that, having been lifted from a hazard, may be dropped or placed in the hazard, the player must not:

a. Test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard;

b. Touch the ground in the hazard or water in the water hazard with his hand or a club; or

c. Touch or move a loose impediment lying in or touching the hazard.


A Fox Sports cameraman caught the incident and alerted the USGA to the possibility of the rules violation.

The players were made aware of the penalty in the middle of the third and final scheduled hole of the playoff, with Nordqvist learning from USGA officials after her third shot and Lang learning before her third shot. Lang found the green, away from the guarding water hazard, and made a par that won the U.S. Women's Open.

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