PEBBLE BEACH -- Rule 13 is getting a workout in the opening round of the 110th U.S. Open Thursday.
Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter both escaped two-shot penalties when it was determined that they had not breached Rule 13.2 in the Rules of Golf, which covers prohibited actions in a hazard that could improve a lie. Mickelson began smoothing over his footprints in the sand right of the fourth green but stopped in mid-swipe after realizing that his ball had not cleared the sand. Playing partner Padraig Harrington assured him that it was probably not a breach of the rules. He was correct.
Poulter hit his second shot on the par-5 18th hole into the left fairway bunker and like Mickelson didn't advance it far enough to clear the hazard. But before he struck his third shot from the sand, his caddie, Ted Mundy, began raking where Poulter had struck his second.
In both instances it was determined that they had not breached Rule 13.2 because their actions did not result in an improved lie or an improved line of play to the hole.
-- Dave Shedloski