Sergio's 20-Minute(!) Ruling Explained

I've heard from a few of you who were not sure what took 20 minutes for Sergio Garcia to get a ruling at the 2017 BMW Championship's last hole. In a nutshell: with a playoff spot at East Lake on the line--the pressure!--Garcia's ball in the hazard could be played except for the movable (grandstand) obstruction.

Will Gray's report explains the issues involved, in particular the difference between a movable and immovable obstruction for a ball in the hazard, with insights from the official on the scene, Stephen Cox.

While Rule 24-2 does not allow a player to take relief from a movable obstruction when in a hazard, Cox explained that the temporary nature of the obstruction made Garcia eligible to receive a free drop, provided he remained inside the hazard.

“(If) the player’s ball lies in a water hazard, he would not get relief from an immovable obstruction for like a sprinkler head,” Cox said. “We have very large structures which are situated very close to the water hazard which ordinarily wouldn’t be there, so the rules allow a player to get relief when his ball lies in a water hazard.”

While that all is fun and interesting, sadly lost to history is the conversation between Garcia playing partner Phil Mickelson and Pat Perez, held up in the group behind. Oh to have been a fly...

The video: