GIF: Matt Kuchar hit his ball into a clubhouse, but it wasn't as bad as it sounds
By Luke Kerr-Dineen
Even after his drive rolled through the 18th fairway, Matt Kuchar still had a shot, albeit a tough one. With his second shot, he hacked it out of the wire grass onto the green, but his ball kept rolling -- over the back, through the shortly cut grass behind the green and right into the clubhouse.
Apparently aware of this potential scenario, and not in the mood for a controversy, the USGA established a local rule where the whole clubhouse is considered an obstruction (rather than out-of-bounds). Players are allowed to play from a drop zone just in front of the clubhouse -- and actually closer to the hole -- with no penalty. That's what that circle is for.
Kuchar took advantage of the drop zone beautifully. He hit a solid pitch shot to inside 10 feet and made the putt for par -- stopping the bleeding after bogeying his previous two holes -- and a one-under 69.
It's likely that Kuchar won't be the only one to find himself utilizing this drop zone. Players smart to the local rule might even use it to their advantage the next few days as they decide how to play their approach shots to the green and whether to play aggressively or not.