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‘I’m not cheating’: Wyndham Clark caught in rules controversy at Bay Hill

Wyndham Clark caused a frenzy of online outrage when it looked as though he moved his ball in the rough during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational…

 

First came Hideki Matsuyama, and then Wyndham Clark.

The reigning US Open champion became embroiled in a rules controversy during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational when contending to win his second Signature event of 2024.

Identical to the fuss about Matsuyama three weeks ago at the Genesis Invitational, Clark placed his club behind his ball in the juicy rough on the 18th hole at Bay Hill and the footage led to suspicions across social media that his ball moved.

Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis reported that Clark spoke to chief referee Ken Tackett after the round who said the rules committee voted in the American’s favour and that he didn’t deserve a penalty.

“I’m not cheating or anything like that or trying to improve my lie,” Clark said, who trailed Scottie Scheffler and Shane Lowry by one shot heading into the final round.

“Obviously they zoom in, and it makes it look worse. We all talked about it and Scottie and the rules official didn’t think it moved, so fortunately that didn’t happen.”

ALSO: What clubs does Hideki Matsuyama use?

When the footage above emerged, the typical outrage followed from golf fans who suspected Clark had moved his ball into a different position.

Wyndham Clark ball moved: What do the Rules of Golf say?

A ball moving is defined as “when a ball at rest has left its original spot and come to rest on any other spot, and this can be seen by the naked eye (whether or not anyone actually sees it do so).”

If the ball oscillates and stays or returns to its original spot, the ball has not moved.

PGA Tour rules official Mark Dusbabek agreed with the rules committee’s decision in Florida when speaking to NBC’s commentary team on Saturday.

“That makes my heart flutter as well,” he said. “When I watch the tape, it looks like it comes back.

“A player is allowed to ground his club with the weight of the club against the ground. That’s basically what he’s doing right there. I feel his ball didn’t move and he did nothing to affect his stroke.”

NOW READ: What clubs does Wyndham Clark use?

NOW READ: Does Wyndham Clark’s driver suit high handicappers?

What did you make of this Wyndham Clark rules debate? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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