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October 20, 2013

Rules violation hands Korea Open to Kang, Rory second

Kim Hyung-tae
Credit: Getty Images

 

Kang Sung-hoon won the 2013 Kolon Korea Open in Cheonan, but he needed some help from the rule book.

According to ONEASIA, Kim Hyung-tae was standing on 17 with a two-shot lead when rules officials informed him that he had grounded his club in a hazard on 13 and would be assessed a two-shot penalty.

The pair finished their round, but before signing their scorecards they returned to the 13th and spent nearly two hours in deep discussion with officials, who also repeatedly consulted TV footage of the incident. Kim argued he had never grounded his club, but was eventually persuaded to sign for a six by the Korean Golf Association rules committee, who had voted 5-3 against him.

The penalty would drop Kim into a five-person tie for second (alongside two-time major-winner Rory McIlroy) at 3-under, a shot behind eventual champion Kang.

"I'm a really good friend of [Kim's] so at the moment it doesn't feel great," said Kang. "Even though I won the tournament, I just feel really sorry for him. I was actually out there to celebrate for him, but … I don't know … I don't know what to say. It's horrible."

A similar mishap cost Dustin Johnson a shot at the 2010 PGA Championship after he grounded his club in what was deemed to be a bunker rather than a "waste area."

After falling 10 shots off the lead through three rounds, McIlroy dropped five birdies on Sunday to close with a 4-under 67, but the Irishman still seemed disappointed with his charge up the leaderboard.

"I could have shot anything, absolutely anything," McIlroy told the BBC. "I only missed two greens and had so many chances, but it was like the story of yesterday. I just didn't hole enough putts. I created so many more chances today that it could have been 61, 62. It just wasn't to be."

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