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Brent Kelley

Dunhill Doings: Pilfering Pooches, Olympic-Sized Putts

By October 6, 2012

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dog steals paul caseys golf ball

It's been an interesting week so far at the Dunhill Links Championship. In the first round on Thursday, Brendan Grace shot 60, tying the European Tour record for lowest 18-hole score. (No 59s yet on the Euro Tour.)

Then in the second round, the pilfering pooch in the pic above stole Paul Casey's golf ball. And Michael Phelps - yes, that Michael Phelps - made what some are calling the longest putt ever caught on tape during a golf telecast.

Casey's ball went to the dogs - er, dog - on the 12th hole of Friday's round. As Casey was lining up an eagle putt, the dog bounded onto the green at Kingsbarns Golf Links and scooped up the golf ball. Everyone was amused. Casey pointed at the hole, as if asking the dog to drop it closer. Then the ball thief absconded, running off with Casey's ball. (The dog was later apprehended on the 13th hole, Casey's ball still in its mouth; no word on whether Casey will be filing charges against the scofflaw.) Continuing without penalty (ball at rest moved by outside agency), Casey made birdie (a birdie and a doggie on the same hole).

And Phelps? Recall that he is now working with instructor Hank Haney for the next season of The Haney Project. How is that going? Pretty good, by appearances.

All Phelps did was this: Drive the par-4 6th hole at Kingsbarns, make the 153-foot putt. Piece of cake. Gross eagle, net "1." Apparently, golf is easy when you're the most decorated Olympian of all-time.

According to the Associated Press account of the incident, Phelps' 51-yard putt took 17 seconds to reach the whole, or a few seconds less than it takes Phelps to swim the same distance.

And Phelps and Casey were playing together in the Dunhill Links pro-am, so that was quite an eventful group.

As noted, various media reports have referred to Phelps' putt as the longest made putt ever broadcast during a golf telecast. It's not the longest made putt caught on tape, however. That remains a 210-foot putt made by instructor Dave Pelz while demonstrating the lengthy putts that are possible at Whistling Straits. That putt was made during Pelz's work for the Golf Channel prior to the 2004 PGA Championship.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Comments

October 7, 2012 at 4:07 am
(1) James GreyWolf says:

This is a strange question. But I have to ask. The above situation happens with one small variation. The ball is lying on the fairway instead of the green. If it is recovered and playable, would the golfer have to drop or place it, as is, including dog slobber and possible stuck on grass or dog fur?

October 8, 2012 at 9:10 am
(2) Wendy says:

Whether the ball is dropped or placed depends upon whether the position of the ball was known. It’s generally considered that in order to place the spot must be known within an inch or so. So, it depends on how far away you are when the outside agency takes your ball through the green.

October 8, 2012 at 10:05 am
(3) Wendy says:

The ball may be cleaned. See Rule 21. A ball may be cleaned when lifted except for a few exceptions that are listed in Rule 21.

October 8, 2012 at 11:35 am
(4) James GreyWolf says:

I thought the only place a ball can be cleaned is on green (and in between holes). It is good that the player could have cleaned it. I can only imagine the odd direction that ball could have taken if one had to shoot it as-is. It is awfully hard to get a good hit off of a spit ball. 8-)

October 8, 2012 at 11:36 am
(5) James GreyWolf says:

Oh….. and thank you for your responses.

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