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SAN DIEGO – Less than 24 hours after Patrick Reed created a rules controversy for a drop he took during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open, Rory McIlroy found himself in a similar situation.
McIlroy’s second shot on the 18th hole during Saturday’s third round at Torrey Pines sailed right of the fairway and into the rough. After inspecting his ball, the Northern Irishman informed another player in his group (Rory Sabbatini) that he had an embedded ball and would be taking relief.
Rory McIlroy takes embedded ball relief on No. 18 during Round 3. pic.twitter.com/9D4HH4Gv5g
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 31, 2021
It was the same scenario that Reed had on earlier in the round on the 10th hole.
“It was reasonable for both players to conclude – based on the fact that they did not see the ball land, but given the lie of the ball in soft course conditions – that they proceed as the rule allows for a potential embedded ball,” a statement from the Tour read.
Unlike McIlroy, Reed called a rules official in to confirm his assessment that his ball was embedded and the official agreed. Under the Rules of Golf, McIlroy wasn’t required to ask for a ruling.
“Both players took proper relief under the [rules]. The committee is comfortable with how both players proceeded given the fact that they used the evidence they had at the time,” the statement read.
McIlroy teed off just before the Tour issued its statement and wasn’t immediately available for comment.