New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox had to undergo a bizarre scenario and was penalized for no fault of his own at the Italian Open on Thursday.
The incident occurred during the first round of the tournament at the Monza-based course after Fox initially thought he had hit a brilliant drive at the par-4 eighth.
Despite showcasing his impressive skills, the ball was nowhere to be found.
The rule states if it is known that a spectator had picked up a ball, the player can replace it without any penalty.
However, with no traces of the location of the ball in this circumstance, Fox was instructed to re-tee with a one-stroke penalty after the golfer declared his ball lost.
Although not 100% certain, it is believed that a spectator has actually pocketed the ball without the authorities noticing, costing the golfer two shots in the tournament.
The Kiwi star later took to social media, venting his frustration about the peculiar turn of events
He wrote on Twitter: “To the spectator who picked up my ball on 8… I would have happily given it to you, after I finished the hole #idiot #onlycost2shots.”
Later, he confirmed that because nobody was sure what actually transpired, the Auckland-born ace had to play it again.
Irish golfer Rory McIlroy was the victim of a similar incident during this year’s Open Championship, but, Fox’s outcome seems more severe.
He has had a good campaign on the European Tour, sits 26th in the Race to Dubai, and was still able to score a 1-under 70, despite a double bogey on that hole.
Only time will tell if Fox can eventually make the cut on Friday in the crucial second round.
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