John Senden's driver snaps inside the grip at Aussie PGA, stabs him; stroke counts
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John Senden’s driver snaps inside the grip at Aussie PGA, stabs him; stroke counts


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John Senden's driver shaft snapped on Thursday in the opening round of the 2018 Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast. That it snapped wasn't unusual; where it snapped and what happened next was absolutely bizarre.

Senden was teeing off on the ninth hole at RACV Royal Pines Resort when his driver shaft snapped inside the grip as he was looking to tee off on the par 5. The Aussie continued the swing by the force he had generated already in his downswing, and he missed the ball completely (seemingly intentionally) because the shaft was disconnected from the grip portion of the club.



After Senden missed the ball, the veteran started shaking his hands in pain. It appears the shaft snapping then came out and stabbed Senden in the finger.


His group then called in a rules official to figure out if Senden's stroke would count. The official relayed Senden's story to the central officials, detailing how the shaft broke, when and the whole situation. Sadly, the ruling is Senden's stroke counted because he attempted to hit the ball. The official who arrived to the ninth hole explains the ruling to Senden and Geoff Ogilvy, one of his playing partners. Ogilvy's reaction is one of disbelief.

Fortunately for Senden, he was allowed to replace the driver in his bag because it was damaged in the course of normal golf activities. He also appeared to be allowed to replace the ball off tee to the turf so he wouldn't have to hit another club with the ball teed up as though he would be using a driver. Senden then sprayed his second tee shot off to the right, still shaking his hand from what happened.

In the end, Senden made a bogey 6 on the hole, according to the European Tour scoring.

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About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com