Masters: Abraham Ancer docked two strokes for Rules violation during opening round

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Adam Schupak
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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Abraham Ancer’s opening-round 73 at the Masters didn’t look too bad on a day when Augusta National played tough. That is until the 30-year-old native of Mexico was hit with a two-stroke penalty that resulted in a first-round 75.

On the 15th hole during Thursday’s play, Ancer unknowingly touched the sand before making his third stroke from the greenside bunker. After Ancer had signed his scorecard and exited the scoring area, video evidence was reviewed by the Masters Competition Committee regarding a potential breach of Rule 12.2b (1), which states that “touching sand in a bunker right behind the ball results in a penalty.”

The Committee deemed that the touching of the sand was visible to the naked eye. According to a statement from Jim Hyler Jr., chairman of the Competitions Committee, “had this not been the case, the video evidence would have been disregarded and a penalty would not have been applied.”

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Ancer, who played in the final group of the final round of the 2020 Masters in November before finishing T-13, had his score on 15 increased from 6 to 8, resulting in a first-round 75.

Prior to learning of the penalty, Ancer said of his round, “I’m not mad or disappointed. I feel like I played pretty solid for how I hit it.”