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Thursday
Feb172011

Big (Bad) Break, Anthony Kim At Riviera Edition**

There was a holdup today when Anthony Kim had to return to the second fairway while Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey and Luke Donald waited for him to hit his second approach following a freak occurrence. Stephanie Wei has all of the details and crime scene photos and I have posted a video detailing what could be one of the goofiest breaks I've ever seen. Not to mention another reason to deplore concrete paths.

**Video removed to comply with PGA Tour's 24-hour rule for on-site captured videos during tournament play.

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Reader Comments (30)

Stranger things have happened. Got to play on a media day at Pebble Beach once and on the par 5 sixth hole hit my second shot up the hill and out of sight. Several minutes later while standing behind the last of our foursome to hit his second shot, a ball suddenly hit my leg at the bottom of the hill. Upon further review, turns out the ball was mine. It had apparently landed on the cart path left of the fairway and slowly rolled all the way down the hill until it bounced into my leg. Penalty. That's golf.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterFWIW
One of the reasons I asked about the cart paths the other day.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin
Bad Karma's been bitin' him in the butt real good, too.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJed C.
The videos are great Geoff.

Unbelievable break for Kim!
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterIan Andrew
Geoff, that is some classic "internal OB." Setting aside the paved cart path ride, please remind us why that paarticular area needs to be OB at all. I know it has to do with the configuration of the practice range smack dab in the middle of the property. But it really does need some explanation. Perhaps an aerial of 2 green, the range-house, 10 tee, etc. It needs some explanation, besides the really excellent description you gave us of the shot.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
Serves him right for not repairing his divots.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
not even in the Top 100 of bad breaks in golf. Give ME a break...yawn.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJW
JW... didn't want to say, but I was thinking it was no big deal too.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
Wow that is awful. Maybe they need a speed bump there to keep the balls from rolling into the OB opening.

Yours in OB,
OB
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterOB
Longy, the caddie is supposed to repair the divots.

That cart path odyssey is nothing. Once I was playing Seattle Golf Club, and my game was weak that day. Finally on about the 12th hole I hit a great tee shot and proceed to blister a 6-iron straight at the flag. I mean I think this thing is going to fly directly into the hole.

The ball comes down on the flag, literally. I mean the ball descends directly onto the metal nut that screws down onto the top of the flagstick and holds the flag in place. It wasn't a glancing blow, but a direct hit. The ball bounces straight and long, with way more energy that if it had hit on the cart path,, bounces about 30 feet in the air and directly over the fence behind the green, out of bounds.

At that point I started drinking.

(the 12th is a guess, I don't remember the exact hole)
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
But guys, Anthony Kim is playing for money.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Fager
Funky Del
I'd join you for a drink after that !
I don't care if the caddy is supposed to repair the divots, the player should make sure they're fixed. Don't care who you are or how much money you have.
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLongy
It was a bit of a bad break but he did hit a terrible shot.

Did you see that divot?

That looked like one of my divots....not one from a touring pro.

DM
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDick Mahoon
What is the common practice with kikuyu divots?
02.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin
I think PGA standard now is, fill the divot with the removed turf, find some sand, or drop a big wet green loogie. Some would approve.
02.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim in Hoylake
Cover cart paths with astro turf type stuff in critical places (near hazards, greens etc) for all golfers.
I have been moaning for years that the cart path should be a material, that has the same 'bounce' as turf.

Wow Del, when I was able to drink more (I am now impaired from any quantity imbibing by the meds I have to take) around the 12th is where the game became very''social''.

That is one crazy story. Hope the ball was found and had a nut impression in the balata/whatever. What a souvenier!

Hope all have a great weekend, and remember the Daytona 500 is Sunday. In the spirit of Nascar, with #3's 10th anniversary of the tragedy, look for Dale JR to win, given the extra hp he magically has, ala Richard Petty's magic win on his last race, etc etc. Nascar loves making sure the drama has a touch of help, to promote the big story/romantic outcome.
02.18.2011 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Tough break for Kim. The out of bounds rule makes no sense. Why not just convert all white stakes to red ones?
02.18.2011 | Unregistered Commenterace
At least he handled the break with class. According to Stephanie, F -bombs followed by F-bombs followed by more F bombs. Wonder how many kids were around.
As I always tell my Saturday morning group: if you hit a bad shot the only break you can get is a good one.
And if Riviera does provide fans with the opportunity to get close to players be sure to bring ear plugs. Nice mouth, Anthony!
In this particular case, the "old school" design of the cart path is to be blamed. The cart path (actually it looks like a maintenance road) has curbs and is pitched/drained toward the center. Most contemporary cart paths do not have curbs and drained toward the shoulders with stormwater being picked-up in a grass swale. You have to take the good quirks with the bad quirks at an "old school" course like Riveria.
02.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKing of Maine
Geoff, Would you classify the 2nd hole as one of the best, most screwed up holes due to external influences (post design) in the sport?
02.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Clayman
Golf is not, and never has been...fair.
02.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRM
Geoff:

The networks haven't done anything this innovative on a golf telecast since . . . well, maybe never. Well done!
02.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJordan
It was a tough break - there have been worse breaks. . . If you watched his first 9 holes yesterday (he played the back nine first) he played simply horrendous golf (for him - not me) and holed about everything - with a smirk every time. . . Some might say he had it coming.
02.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterWisconsin Reader
I only had half an eye on yesterday's coverage, WR, but was floored by the overall poor play. Shots going every which way. The only guy who looked to tack his intended course was Fredo...and look at him today. Fascinating golf course.
02.18.2011 | Unregistered Commenterdbh
Adam, NO.

Others, I don't think some of you have any idea the path this ball traveled. This is where you really have to understand Rivera; where the green is at and where the entrance to the driving range is.

The only way it reaches that point just isn't the fact that its on concrete, but how the expansion joints in the concrete funneled the ball past the scoreboard area and into a two-stake OB area that was all of 6 feet wide. This is the equal to hitting a three-point shot from the loge section, only after it bounced off of the top of the back board. What would have been fun is if they played it as it lies on the PGA Tour, and he would have had to play it back up the hill to #2 green.

I'd pay good money to see that in competition!
02.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
Tommy, I got it. It does help to have been to Riviera and to know that area, as you and I have. I do indeed understand how freakish it is for a fast-rolling golf ball, bounding along on concrete, to have taken a high-speed 90-degree turn to the right and find a small pocket of a pair of out of bounds stakes.

My real question for Geoff, or his dad or any Riviera members or Tour officials, or you Tommy is why make that small area OB at all? It is all not off the club grounds. It isn't even any sort of strategic deterrence like the internal OB at Hoylake. That area where AK's ball came to rest is not just within the Riviera property; it is almost in the geometric center of the property.

Clearly, the range-house and all of the stuff around it (permanent structures, temporary structures, tournament flotsam and jetsam, driving range equipment) has to be accounted for, as obstructions or otherwise, or nothing at all if they so chose. But why make it OB? I don't get it. OB is such a huge trap. Why there?
02.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
Chuck....

Just imagine it had happened to Sergio! ''Why there'' , indeed! The ''whoa is me'' would last years!

Seriously, The path of the ball was worthy of a James Bond remote control villian's work, or a Die Hard Five sequal.
02.18.2011 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I contacted Geoff about that particular OB placement, and he graciously agreed to talk to someone in Rules about it and report back.

It is very much of a curiosity to me.

For those who haven't (and those who have) been to Riviera, you will know; the course is landlocked in the bottom of a canyon that is perfectly sized for one magnificent golf course. In the middle of the canyon, Riviera has located its practice range, around which flows the golf course, almost 360 degrees. The range itself, because it was sized for the 1920's has been surrounded by high range-netting on poles. It's a bit of an eyesore, but its been partly blended in by trees and ivy, and the rest of Riviera/Pcific Palisades/Santa Monica is so beautiful, who cares?

Anyway, the opening to the range is sort of a high-traffic area for carts, people, equipment, et cetera. And so the paved paths. (Not defending the way they are configured, just saying...) It is at the base of the steep hill leading directly down from the clubhouse. #2 green and #10 tee are there, with the practice tee, and the range-house. The range-house is what is seen in Geoff's video. It is a structure -- an immovable obstruction, I should think -- in the middle of the whole property. And what I wonder is why anything in that area needs to be out of bounds, instead of being an obstruction that is moveable, or immoveable, or G.U.R., or whatever. OB is a very big deal, it seems to me. It requires stroke and distance. Rather than free relief.

Of course, the way that the paved pathway took AK's ball on that highly unnatural ride is another matter. It was weird. And others have spoken to that. But the penalty at the end of the little journey just doesn't make sense to me. I'm really looking forward to hearing from Geoff.

I suspect that practically nobody around in February of 2011 knows more about the layout of Riviera than Geoff. And if this OB was a particular creation of the PGA Tour Rules staff rather than the Club, then Geoff's asking his Rules guide today should be most enlightening.
02.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

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