Ernie Els Defines Integrity at BMW PGA Championship

Ernie Els’ latest penalty shows us how golf differs from any other sport.

After the first round of the BMW PGA Championship, Els, who had seemingly scored a 3-under 69 for the day, signed his card with a corrected 1-under 71. Rewind to the par-5 12th hole where Els chipped in for eagle from the green-side rough. Before hitting his shot, he called over his playing partners to address a potential plugged-ball situation. The others allowed his to mark the ball and investigate if it was indeed plugged which would have given his a free-lift. The ball was not in fact plugged so Ernie replaced it and proceeded to drain the pitch for 3. After the round, he told reporters that he “just felt uncomfortable by the way the ball came out. The ball came out way too good, so [he] felt [he] didn’t quite probably put it (back) exactly where [he] should have.”

This is classified as “playing from the wrong place” under Rule 20-7 and is a 2 stroke penalty.

A Hat-Tip to you Ernie for showing the golf-world what kind of integrity golfers must have to stay true to the game.


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