• Players ruled to have spilt balls at par-three 17th • Crowd celebrate as first shots at round-of-the-week start to spill over
Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson have been handed two-shot penalties after tee shots from the same hole spilt on to adjacent greens at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson in Tour Championship head-to-head Read more
As the elite field assembled to complete their round at the final of the four FedEx Cup play-off events on the PGA Tour, Spieth and Stenson played from the 17th green.
It was Stenson’s ball that spilt out to the right of the green, while Spieth’s skied to the middle, where it gave way and led to an American crowd kicking it down the fairway in celebration. “That was awesome, that’s why they call it the FedEx Cup,” the American Matt Kuchar said to a nearby television cameraman, which prompted a brief moment of disbelief among other players.
As the first shot, Spieth was assessed a two-shot penalty, which incurred a minimum score of two-over, to fall back to even par. Following a drop, Spieth regathered and took a par on 18, which accrued a bonus of one stroke over the standard score of one. By virtue of the two-shot penalty Stenson had to return to the 17th tee for his round, this time to play from the middle.
Spieth, who came into the event with five victories in nine starts, has also struggled to a disastrous 36th in the first round of this tournament.
A poor tee shot from the 17th which spilled from the cut grass to the edge of the green was unable to be stopped by a bunker as the 29-year-old watched from a bunker behind the green. He eventually managed par and now sits five strokes behind the leader, Justin Thomas.