Els cleared of possible rules violation

Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:05pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Four-times major winner Ernie Els was questioned by officials for a possible rules violation before being cleared at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Saturday.

Television showed Els touching his wedge in long grass in a hazard at the par-five sixth hole during the third round at Bay Hill in Florida.

However, tour rules official Steve Rintoul could not determine from watching the video whether the South African grounded his club, which would have resulted in a two-stroke penalty.

"The tape didn't show that the club was grounded, even though the clubhead was in the grass," Rintoul told Reuters.

Head rules official Mark Russell spoke to Els after the round, but the player said he had not soled his club, so no penalty was assessed.

Els, who triple-bogeyed the hole, carded a 72 to trail Swedish leader Henrik Stenson by 10 strokes.

The sixth hole was kinder to American Daniel Berger, who recorded a rare albatross (double eagle) when he canned his second shot from 236 yards at the par-five hole.

His ball landed softly about 20 feet short of the hole and trickled in for the first albatross at Bay Hill since the PGA Tour began keeping such records in 1983.

Berger shot a 68 to trail by nine shots.   Continued...