The problem started when Jon Rahm and Daniel Im found their balls in uncomfortably close proximity on the sixth green at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
Golfers use coins or ball markers to mark their balls on the green, so that their balls can be lifted from the surface to make way for other golfers’ balls. The closeness of the balls in this instance prompted Rahm to execute a more convoluted ball-marking strategy, which may have lead to confusion when the time for ball-replacement came just moments later. The proper laying of balls on the green in golf is, you can imagine, a pretty big deal.
The errant ball-placement—a matter of millimeters—was discussed between Rahm, Im, and European Tour chief referee Andy McPhee, and ultimately Rahm was not penalized. Rahm would go on to win the tournament by a whopping six shots. Here’s a bitchin’ eagle he nailed from 150 yards on the fourth hole: