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Matt Wallace isn’t exactly your prototypical power player. The Englishman ranks outside the top 100 on the European Tour’s driving distance list at an average clip of 293.8 yards.
So, while Wallace likely won’t outdrive the field at this week’s Italian Open, he already paces the pack in another power category: power lines hit.
In something that is rarely seen at the highest levels of professional golf, this week’s venue, Chervo Golf Club in Brescia, Italy, features power lines that are in play on at least four holes, so much so that European Tour chief referee Mark Litton predicted the power features would affect play several times during the event.
“I will be amazed if this doesn’t occur a few times during the week because there are certainly two holes where shots are being hit between the cables,” Litton told EuropeanTour.com.
One of those holes is the par-4 12th, where Wallace hit a power line with his approach shot during Thursday’s opening round, his ball appearing to ricochet into a pond.
Matt Wallace's shot hit a powerline on the 12th.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 22, 2020
Luckily for Wallace – and any other players who may hit a power line this week – the stroke does not count per local rules. This according to Local Rule E-11: “If it is known or virtually certain that a player’s ball hit a power line or tower or a wire or pole supporting a power line during the play of specify hole number, the stroke does not count. The player must play a ball without penalty from where the previous stroke was made (see Rule 14.6 for what to do).”
Rule 14.6a states that the next shot must be replayed “within one club-length” of where the previous stroke was made.
Wallace’s second approach ended up 5 feet from the hole, and the Englishman made the putt for one of his six birdies on the day. Wallace is T-28, eight shots back of leader Laurie Canter, after his opening 4-under 68.