Brooks Koepka embroiled in lengthy LIV Golf rules dispute with Patrick Reed

June 9, 2024

Brooks Koepka caught the attention of golf fans on Friday, after the five-time major champion was involved in a lengthy rules incident on the fifth hole of his first round

Brooks Koepka found himself involved in a lengthy rules incident during the opening round at LIV Houston on Friday, requiring the input of his playing partner Patrick Reed.

Koepka kicked off his tournament with a two-under-par 70 in the opening round, to leave him five shots behind leaders Martin Kaymer, Adrian Meronk and Caleb Surratt. Starting on the first hole of the shotgun start, the American started with birdie, par, par before a bogey followed at the fourth.

It was how the five-time major champion made his way to his bogey five that raised eyebrows of those watching, after he was forced to take a penalty drop on the par-four fourth after finding the water hazard.

Initially, Koepka was involved in a debate as to where the ball had landed and crossed, to determine where he was allowed to take his next shot from. It was agreed that the American was able to drop on the bank between the hazard on the putting surface, but this then proved a problem for his drop.

Due to the ridge of the bank, Koepka’s ball would roll down the bank and back into the hazard. Per the rules of golf, the former U.S. PGA champion is therefore allowed to attempts to drop the ball, before being able to place following a second failed attempt.

His next issue however came with placing the ball, with Koepka attempting to do so more than once as the ball appeared to continue to move from its placing spot. The former world No. 1 then called in the input of his playing partner Reed, with the pair finally agreeing on a place for the ball, no nearer to the hole.

Rule 14.2e states: “If the player tries to replace a ball but it does not stay on its original spot, the player must try a second time. If the ball again does not stay on that spot, the player must replace the ball by placing it on the nearest spot where the ball will stay at rest, but with these limits depending on where the original spot is located.

“The spot must not be nearer the hole and the nearest spot must be in the general area. Failure to do so, playing the ball from a wrong place, is in breach of Rule 14.2, which is a two-stroke penalty.” Of course Koepka went on to play onto the green, before two-putting for bogey.

Aside from the rules debate, day one in Houston belonged to the Cleeks, with captain, Kaymer and his teammate Meronk tied at the top alongside Surratt of Legion XIII. This has seen the all-European setup lead take a three-shot lead in the team standings heading into day two, with Kalle Samooja tied in 15th at three-under, and recently crowned U.S. Senior PGA champion Richard Bland tied in 48th in two-over.