Matthew Wolff shows (rules-) nerves of steel during US Open

Wolff has nerves of steel - ball in the rough

On his way to an amazing 65-stroke round on the third day (Saturday) of the 2020 US Open, Wolff showed (Rules-) nerves of steel.

After a long drive on hole 12 (par-5) Wolff’s ball lay in the rough. The rough was not his only problem, however. Behind the ball was a loose divot.

So, what did Wolff do? See for yourself, here:

As you can see, Wolff was very careful – and succeeded gently removing the clump without moving the ball.

The Rule (Rule 15.1) is very clear: You are allowed to remove a loose impediment from the “General Area” (e.g. the fairway or the rough)… but will incur a one-stroke penalty if the ball happens to move in the process!

So… well done, Matthew. You really showed nerves of steel. Had the ball moved, we would probably all have called him careless instead of courageous… :-).

-> See the Rules School episode about loose impediments.

Having lead the US Open after the third round, Wolff ended up finishing second – six strokes behind Bryson Dechambeau (who managed an incredible 67 (-3) Sunday) – after a round of 75 strokes (+5).


  1. Lord Daniel Hagan says

    It seems I have to make a twitter account to see the nerves of steel clip

  2. Ken says

    If part of the divot was still attached to the ground he would not have been allowed to move it. Further more if the ball was in a divot and the loose divot was a replacement or part of it he is also not allowed to move it.
    He would have been able to move it to see if it is still attached to the ground provided he replace it as he found it

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