KOHLER, Wisconsin (Reuters) - Australian Matt Jones got up close and personal with high-fiving golf fans next to a bar in a hospitality area after hitting a wayward drive during the third round of the PGA Championship on Saturday.
Three strokes clear of the field as he stood on the ninth tee, Jones went on to bogey the hole after pulling his tee shot on to the blue carpet of the hospitality structure situated well left of the fairway.
As Jones made his way up the steps and past several fans to see where his ball had landed, CBS Sports television commentator David Feherty jested: “We either need a referee or an event planner.”
Jones entered into the spirit of the unusual scene.
“It was crazy,” said the 35-year-old from Sydney. “It was exciting to get up close like that. There was a lot of cameras clicking and high fiving.
“And I just had to deal with it, because no one is going to be able to control a crowd like that.”
After checking out the lie of his ball and then walking back out to a spot on the course where he would have to take a drop, Jones decided to go back to the tent and hit his second shot from there.
“Actually I was happy where the ball was,” said the Australian, who ended the day slipping back into a tie for sixth place at 10 under, five strokes behind leader Jason Day, after carding a one-over-par 73 at Whistling Straits.
“The spot where I had to have gone would have been much harder. And I hit a very good shot (with a wedge) ... exactly on the line I picked.
“But I picked the wrong line. I thought the wind was off to the left, but it was straight down.”
His wedge approach ended up in a collar of rough in a terrible lie left of the green from where he chipped and two-putted for a bogey five.
Jones, who won his first PGA Tour title at last year’s Houston Open, had led the PGA Championship by two shots when the storm-delayed second round was completed earlier in the day.
Editing by Andrew Both