Ian Poulter called them "basic rules," but in his defense, it's hard not to get a little confused sometimes.
After hitting his drive into the foliage off the tee on the 13th hole at the China Open on Friday, Poulter took his required two club-length drop. So far, so good. But when Poulter dropped his ball back into play, it landed onto a cart path. So, as is his right, he took another drop; two club-lengths, no nearer the hole.
And therein lies the problem. Poulter was right to take two club-lengths for his first drop, but relief from a cart path requires just one club-length from the nearest point of relief. His ensuing penalty helped him to a triple-bogey eight on the hole en route to a 74.
"We make mistakes, I guess, and that was a fun one," Poulter said after the round. "Guess I need to get the rulesbook back out and start chewing it."
He followed up on Twitter:
I didn't think it would be difficult to drop a golf ball, but today I managed to make a complete $€$%^#¥= arse of it. Basic Rules. #Nobhead