AUSTIN (Texas) • British golfer Tyrrell Hatton was eliminated from the WGC-Dell Match Play after receiving a two-stroke penalty in his three-man play-off on Friday.
He was preparing to tap in for par at the first extra hole when he saw his ball had moved slightly after he had placed his putter behind it at Austin Country Club.
But rather than replacing his ball to its original position or clarifying with an official to prevent a penalty, he holed out without doing so.
Rules official Steve Carmen was watching on but by time he got there, the damage had been done.
"We have a local rule in effect that if it's an accidental movement on the putting green, you can replace the ball (but) he didn't replace. He's played from the wrong place, so there's a two-shot penalty," Carmen told Golf Channel.
Carmen said he could have saved Hatton from the penalty if the player had waited to check with him.
Hatton was in a three-way play-off with American Charles Howell III and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello to progress to the round-of-16 knockout phase.
They were forced into a play-off after finishing the group stage with two wins and one loss each from three matches. Howell won the play-off at the fifth extra hole.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson emerged from the round-robin phase with a perfect 3-0-0 record after a 5&3 shellacking of fellow American Jimmy Walker.
"I like match play. It's fun and it's exciting to watch," Johnson said before his round-of-16 against compatriot Zach Johnson yesterday.
Five-time Major champion Phil Mickelson also finished group play in style (3-0-0) with a 6&5 thumping of J.B. Holmes.
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