124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2



Memory Lane

PGA Tour winner's hilarious drawing describes one of the craziest things that's ever happened in a golf tournament

September 12, 2023

Pound for pound, Michael Kim might have the best stories on the PGA Tour. The Cal grad regaled us with an all-time cheating tale in July before sharing an amazing Phil Mickelson anecdote last month. But he saved his craziest yarn for Tuesday. At least, for now.

This one doesn't involve any cheating or any famous golfer, but it is one of the more interesting rulings we've ever heard of. And Michael gave us an additional gift by drawing what happened. Have a look:

OK, so we're guessing he wasn't an art major at Cal. Love the "bang!" though. But seriously, what a WILD story from his amateur days.

Two golfers stroking a putt at the exact same time? And having their golf balls collide? What are the odds?

As Kim tells it, his putt from the fringe was going in before banging off his opponent's golf ball. But it got even worse with the ensuing ruling from an official. Because Kim's attempt was from closer to the hole (even though he was off the green), it had been his playing partner's turn to putt. So therefore, Kim was assessed a two-stroke penalty for a hitting another golf ball being played on the green.

Had the balls not collided, there would have been no penalty for playing out of turn. And Kim says he went on to lose the tournament by three shots, which can be traced back to that two-stroke penalty plus his original putt being kept out of the hole. Ouch.

On the bright side, other golfers can use Kim's account of what happened that day as a learning opportunity. It's good to know the rules. Of course, this also could have all been avoided if he and his playing partner had just communicated better. Or, at all.