You were certainly many in front of your television to watch the tournament last week in Scottsdale. Rickie Fowler won the tournament, but he got a very bad break on hole # 11 that could have cost him the tournament.
After being aggressive on a chip shot, his ball rolled in the water (penalty area). He dropped a ball in the proper relief area for a ball lost in a penalty area. He went to have a look at the green and at the same time the ball rolled back in the water.
When a ball at rest is moved my natural forces (wind, rain, etc) the ball must be played where it lies. Because the ball came back in the penalty area, the player received another penalty stroke and dropped another ball at the original spot.
If the ball had been moved by an outside influence (other player, animal, etc), the player would have placed the ball at its original position without penalty.
EXCEPTION WHEN BALL IS ON THE GREEN: if the ball is marked, lifted and replaced, and the ball is moved for any reason, the ball must be replaced at the original spot without penalty.
Maybe the USGA and R&A will rethink the rule and have the same possibility outside the green.
NEW RULE FOR CADDIES
Last week, I talked to you about a player in Europe that got penalized 2 strokes because his caddie was standing behind the ball while he was getting into position. At the Waste Management tournament, Denny McCarthy received a penalty of 2 strokes for the same reason, on Friday. When Justin Thomas heard about that information, he called the PGA Tour office because he was sure his caddie did the same thing.
After reviewing the incidents, the Committee decided to cancel the penalties to all the players.
For now the PGA Tour will probably decide to put a hold on this rule until the USGA and R&A come with a better rule or an interpretation to make it easier for the rules committees and players!