DeChambeau apologizes & Fowler penalized

Rule breaking at the WGC-Mexico championship

American Bryson DeChambeau apologized on Friday after a TV camera caught him slamming his putter into a practice green a day earlier at the WGC Mexico Championship.

DeChambeau, also a winner at last month’s European Tour Dubai Desert Classic, had completed a four-over par first round that left him 12 off the pace when the incident occurred, and struggles on the green were key to his lackluster score.

His frustration spilled over with his swipe at the green — which was clearly visible in the background of a SkySports interview.

Rickie Fowler took a one-shot penalty for an illegal drop from shoulder-height at the WGC-Mexico Championship on Friday, but said he thinks the new knee-height drop rule will be changed.

Fowler had shanked his second shot out of bounds on the 10th hole and when he took his drop he used the old style — holding his right arm out from his shoulder and letting the ball fall.

Neither of his playing partners noticed, nor did his caddie Joe Skovron, who was looking away at the time. If they had, he would have been allowed to re-drop and avoid the penalty.

Fowler had already played his shot before the infraction was pointed out.

“I know I didn’t drop properly, but just going through the natural kind of progression of what you do with the drop, that’s just what you’re used to,” said Fowler, who ended up with a triple-bogey seven.

He birdied the next two holes, but signed for a two-over par 73.

“I think, with the new rules that have been put in place, it’s not doing any favors for our sport,” Fowler said. “I think it will definitely be changed.

“It was on me, but I think it’s a terrible change.”

The drop rule change was part of the modernized Rules of Golf that took effect on January 1, and some of the changes — such as one on caddie alignment — have required clarification from global governing bodies the Royal & Ancient and the US Golf Association.

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