Genesis Invitational

Riviera Country Club

Rules Blunders

Justin Rose incurred this rare and costly penalty after rules issue, but managed to avoid disqualification

January 05, 2024

Kevin C. Cox

It may be a new year, but one of the oldest penalties in golf reared its head during the first round of 2024 on the PGA Tour.

Justin Rose played the wrong golf ball on Thursday at The Sentry. Rose was hit with a two-shot penalty, but avoided being disqualified.

The costly rules blunder occurred on the seventh hole at Kapalua's Plantation Course. Rose had hit his drive 359 yards, the ball ending up in right side of the fairway. Meanwhile, playing partner Taylor Moore also found the right part of the fairway, 322 yards off the tee. Rose proceeded to play what he thought was his ball, hitting it on the green only to find out a few seconds later it was Moore’s that he mistakenly hit.

Rose thankfully did avoided being disqualified since he was able to right that wrong in time to continue playing. He eventually played his own ball. Moore, meanwhile, had to replace a ball as close to the spot as his original ball had been lying and then play on from there with no penalty.

Rose tweeted about the incident after.

Under Rule 6.3c, in stroke play, a golfer is allowed to replay the shot with the right ball after adding two shots to his score provided they find their original ball, which Rose did. As a result, he only took four shots to complete the hole, but it became a double bogey with the two-shot penalty.

Had Rose started the next hole with the wrong ball, however, it would have been too late to correct his mistake and he would have been DQ'd from the tournament. So, yeah, always double check you're hitting the right ball. And always mark your ball as PGA Tour winner Greg Chalmers cheekily reminded Rose after:

The little adventure didn't rattle Rose entirely. He went on to make six birdies on his back nine, eventually finishing with a two-under-par 71 to begin his season. He is T-46 entering the second round at Kapalua. For more on this rule, read this Golf Digest rules explainer.