If your ball has ever been up against a root, or resting on one, chances are you or your playing partner have made the executive decision of moving it off the root. It makes zero sense to risk injury when you're playing the game casually, even if you're playing for a few bucks.
Tour pros, and anyone else who plays competitively at a high level, do not have that same luxury. When their ball is on a tree's root, they can either play it as it lies and hope they don't break their wrist, or take the unplayable and live with the penalty stroke. On Thursday at the Zozo Championship, Jordan Spieth's tee shot at the par-4 ninth came to rest right behind a root, and rather than take an unplayable, he attempted to hit it. By the looks of it, he was hoping to avoid injury and hoping to lift the ball up to avoid the root. He accomplished part 1, but did NOT accomplish part 2, failing to move the ball a single inch:
Well, at least he didn't get hurt, right? Actually, on his next attempt, Spieth caught the root and appeared to be in pain afterward:
This was actually his third shot, and it came after the attempt that didn't advance. Not to sound like Captain Hindsight, but he probably should have either taken the unplayable or chipped out sideways.
Spieth went on to make double bogey, giving him a front-nine 37. Despite appearing to be in discomfort after his third, he did end up finishing his round, shooting a back-nine 37 for a four-over 74. As of now, there's no news on any injury to his hand or wrist. He's set to tee off in the second round at 8:48 p.m. ET (Thursday), 7:20 a.m. (Friday) local time.