GULLANE, Scotland —
Instead, he violated Rule 12-2 that says, “Before lifting the ball, the player must announce his intention to his ... fellow competitor.”
David Rickman, the rules director for the Royal & Ancient, said letting the spotter know wasn’t enough.
“The rule is very specific,” Rickman said. “It needs to be the fellow competitor. The fellow competitor is there to protect the interests of the rest of the field, and therefore, we are specific about who that needs to be. Because you need to give that fellow competitor, or as I say this week, the referee, the opportunity to come over and observe the player’s actions. That’s the protection that the rule gives.”
Worse yet was finding out so deep in a round that had already gone so wrong.
“Walking up 16 when I was told I got a one-shot penalty on No. 10, I don’t even think rubbing salt in the wounds would do enough to describe it,” Laird said.
Mechanic sputters: Miguel Angel Jimenez likes to relax with a good cigar and a glass of red wine. He might need something a little stronger after Saturday.
“The Mechanic” played solidly over the first two rounds and went into Saturday with a one-stroke lead. But he plummeted from contention with a 6-over 77.
This one started bad — four bogeys in the first eight holes — and didn’t improve much. Still within striking distance of the leaders, Jimenez played the final five holes at 4-over par. He took double-bogey at the 16th, needing two swings to escape a pot bunker. At the 17th, he lipped out a 3-footer to save par.
He still has an outside shot, going to the final round six strokes behind leader Lee Westwood. But the fun-loving Spaniard knows his chances are slim, especially with nine players between him and the lead, including Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera, Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson — major winners all.