“It’s the most incredible situation I’ve seen in my entire career,” said Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Tournament Director Miguel Vidaor, who was called for a ruling on the first hole during the second round on Friday.
Jorge Campillo was there waiting for Vidaor, who didn’t initially understand the problem because he didn’t see any golf balls on the fairway.
Turns out, a divot was “left in an open position,” Vidaor said, and Campillo’s ball “ended up wrapped in a divot left from another competitor.
“This looks so artificial. Someone must have put it on top on purpose,” Vidaor said. But there was no evidence of that.
As for the ruling, Vidaor said it was simple.
“The divot is a loose impediment,” he said, but did add that if Campillo moved the ball while moving the divot, there would’ve been a penalty. Campillo couldn’t advance the ball without hitting through the divot so he decided to take the chance of removing the loose impediment.
“He grabbed it from both ends, very carefully,” Vidaor said. “I’d have to say he’d be a good surgeon.”
Campillo took almost 15 seconds slowly removing the divot but the ball remained at rest and he was able to play his next shot. He parred the hole en route to a second-round 73.