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Genesis Invitational

Jim Nantz had an A+++ line for the internet rules sleuths who thought Hideki Matsuyama's ball moved on 17

February 18, 2024

Harry How

LOS ANGELES — On two separate occasions this PGA Tour season, internet rules sleuths have attempted to spoil a player's victory by breaking out the ol' magnifying glass. Each time, nothing came of it.

The first instance occurred at the Farmers Insurance Open, where France's Matthieu Pavon was accused, on Golf Twitter of course, of pushing down the grass around his ball on the par-5 18th hole at Torrey Pines (Pavon pulled off a miracle shot and won with a birdie). The second came at Pebble Beach, where some questioned Wyndham Clark getting relief from a burrowing animal hole (Clark won after the event was shortened to 54 holes).

Both cases turned out to be "nothing to see here" situations. But that doesn't stop folks from trying to catch players red-handed, like some attempted to do with Hideki Matsuyama late on his back nine on Sunday at the Genesis Invitational.

After beginning the day six back of Patrick Cantlay, Matsuyama vaulted up the leaderboard with eight birdies over his first 16 holes, briefly sharing the lead with Will Zalatoris before grabbing ahold of it and never letting go with another birdie at No. 17. That birdie was seemingly at risk of becoming a bogey, however, thanks to a close-up video of Matsuyama addressing his third shot in the rough on the par 5.

A number of rogue videos of the supposed incident have already been removed from social media. But they had been spreading like wildfire, as all potential rules controversies do. The CBS Sports crew must have known this was the case, because Jim Nantz quickly brought in rules and review analyst Mark Dusbabek explained that there was no foul play from Matsuyama.

Here was the incredible exchange between Nantz and Dusbabek:

Nantz: They're playing a game of 'gotcha,' they think, with Matsuyama behind the 17th a moment ago and saying 'hey that ball moved! This isn't right!' Let's bring in, with some reasoning here, Duse (Dusbabek).

Dusbabek: Yes Jim, the ball did not move. The ball just shifted a little bit, but it stayed in its same position. The ball has to move to a different position, up, down, to the side, it doesn't matter. It just didn't move its position.

Nantz: Go find somebody else to pick on.