This player’s fault? It contained 3 journalists, 2 rules and a “Wizard” drop

Matthias Schwab and a Rules Officer on Thursday’s 2nd hole at TPC Sawgrass.

Matthias Schwab failed. And then it got really wild.

Journalists involved in the story they covered? A rule officer and a rule? A “magic” drop? Another rule? All were presented during the first round of the Players Championship on Thursday. In the end, Schwab parried the 543-yard, par-5 2nd at TPC Sawgrass, but his path wasn’t conventional.

Thank you to the PGA Tour social media teamwe now know this sequence:

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– There was failure. There was a hook left. It was also the least unusual. Because from there:

— There were the journalists. Schwab’s ball bounced off the cart path – and then landed in the back of the moving cart of three reporters from Sky Sport Austria who were following him. A fan shouted at them to stop it. They did.

“The ball bounced off the ground, landed in our car and then stayed right here,” said Florian Bauer, one of the journalists. “And then, when I look at the ball, I know the brand, Matthias Schwab’s signing, and I say: ‘Hey, that’s Matthias’ ball.’

“So it was pretty fun.”

As a matter of fact. Bauer and Co. then filmed … themselves.

“We were broadcasting everything live,” Bauer said, “so I immediately called home and said, ‘Hey guys, we have a very funny story.’ so we broadcast everything live. And then Matthias came over and we joked a bit.”

There was more.

— There were the official rules and the rule. The former approached him shortly after Schwab. Schwab pointed to his ball, which was still in the back of the car.

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“Okay, my ball’s in there,” he said. “And he drove, and it…”

“Just do me a favor and grab a t-shirt from your bag,” the officer said. “Put it on the cart path, under the ball, OK.”

Schwab put a T-shirt under the car.

“Go ahead and lift the ball,” the officer said.

Schwab raised the ball.

“And get that cart out of the way, whoever it is,” the officer said.

The shopping cart was moved.

That was the first rule. The process is governed by 15.2a(2) entitled “Relief When the Ball is in or on a Movable Obstacle Anywhere on the Course Other than the Putting Green” and states: “The player may take free relief by picks up the ball and removes the movable obstruction and drops the original ball or another ball in that relief area (see Rule 14.3).”

Speaking of drops…

— There was the “Wizardry” drop. That was the term given to it by David Barnett of the Tour Junkies website. He was nearby and also recorded.

Schwab dropped onto the slightly left-right sloping path, his ball bounced about a dozen times and then landed almost directly under his hand.


Said Barnett: “The craziest part of the Matthias Schwab drop-on-2 was when he dropped it onto the cart path on a cliff. It hits the ground, starts bouncing, then comes to a stop right where he dropped it. It was magic. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Bauer said, “I mean, I’ve never seen a ball get dropped on a cart path and not run away. But it did. It stayed there.”

Schwab told Bauer on Sky Sport: “Probably if we tried that we wouldn’t have made it a million times.”

— There was the other rule. Schwab was allowed relief from the cart path under rule 16.1a. He fell on the left side of the path and was about 40 meters away.

From there he pitched to 9 feet and two putts for a five.

And SkySport Austria and the PGA Tour had a video.


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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf community. And when he’s not writing about how to hit the golf ball further and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach him on any of these topics – his stories, his game or his beers – at This player’s fault? It contained 3 journalists, 2 rules and a “Wizard” drop

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