DUBLIN, Ohio -- It has been an interesting year for Matt Kuchar, who found himself in the middle of another rules issue Thursday at the Memorial Tournament -- and on the losing end of an argument.
Kuchar's tee shot on the par-17th hole at Muirfield Village ended up on the edge of a pitch mark that was determined to not be his own. A player is entitled to relief if a ball comes to rest in its own pitch mark, and Kuchar tried to argue that his ball had possibly created a second pitch mark where it came to rest.
Two rules officials were called, and television replays were used before it was determined that Kuchar would have to play the ball as it was.
PGA Tour official Robbie Ware first ruled against Kuchar, who then asked for another official, Stephen Cox, to take a look.
According to the Golf Channel broadcast, the discussion went like this:
Kuchar: "I'm just saying, there's potential that it broke new ground in making its secondary pitch.''
Cox: "Matt -- the ball came to rest right there, and we know that it's not your pitch mark."
Kuchar: "I'm saying, if you look at the film, it looks like it's gone hard enough to break new ground."
Cox: "Ultimately, it's already in a hole that's made by someone else, and I'm not buying that on a secondary bounce, we're going to get you out of a pitch mark that's been made by somebody else."
Kuchar appealed to Cox to look at the video again, but the rules official held his ground, and the golfer had to play the shot from there. Kuchar ended up hitting a 7-iron just off the green and making a par.
"The rules officials, they know the rules a lot better than I do,'' Kuchar said. "I thought there was potential that it might have broken additional ground and is that a new embedded ball. I'm not sure, and that's why we have the rules officials.''
Kuchar, who won the tournament in 2013, shot 73.
Earlier this year, Kuchar -- who has won twice this season -- was involved in controversy over payment to a fill-in caddie at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico last November. Kuchar used a local caddie and later agreed to pay him more after it came to light that he gave the caddie a small amount from his $1.2 million prize money.
Then, at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship, Kuchar was involved in a controversy with Sergio Garcia, who picked up his own ball during a Saturday quarterfinal match before it was conceded. The ball was inches from the hole, and Garcia was ultimately wrong, but Kuchar came under scrutiny for seeking out a rules official to say he had not conceded the putt. Kuchar went on to win the match but lost in the final to Kevin Kisner.