Matt Kuchar criticized for liberal removal of sand in a waste area at European Tour event
European Tour

Matt Kuchar criticized for liberal removal of sand in a waste area at European Tour event



Matt Kuchar is coming under fire once again for his liberal interpretation of the Rules of Golf, attempting to use them to his advantage on the European Tour.

On Friday in the second round of the Porsche European Open in Hamburg, Germany, Kuchar found himself in what was termed a waste area at host Green Eagle Golf Courses. Kuchar found himself with a less than ideal lie, with the ball sitting in its imprint, a bit below the level of the sand. From there, Kuchar decided to use a friendly interpretation of the new Rules of Golf, which allow a player to remove loose impediments in a bunker, hazard or waste area -- basically, rocks, twigs and things like that which could get in the way of executing a shot and potentially damage a player's club.

Kuchar appears to initially remove some bigger pieces of ground material that could well be little pebbles. However, as Kuchar continues picking at the area around the ball, it becomes clear Kuchar is picking away more than what could be considered loose impediments. He's effectively moving the sand away from around the circumference of the ball to create a better lie.

The European Tour announce team watching the footage seemed appalled by Kuchar's liberal removal of sand, joking that Kuchar would soon have a perfect lie.

"Well, he's going to have a perfect lie in a minute," one commentator said.

"He's doing it very quickly, isn't he? Because he's been told he can remove the bigger bits, but what he's doing is moving everything."

Under the 2019 Rules of Golf, players are allowed to remove "loose impediments" in the "general area," which was formerly known as the area "through the green." That means golfers can remove those items in bunkers and hazards, areas where such removal was prohibited under the old rules. However, the Rules of Golf clearly state that "sand and loose soil" are not considered "loose impediments."

Kuchar wound up missing the cut at the European Tour stop, shooting a pair of 74s to miss the weekend by a shot on 4-over 148.