Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images
- Jon Rahm won the Memorial Tournament on Sunday, vaulting him to No. 1 in the world golf rankings.
- At the par-3 16th hole, Rahm was assessed a two-stroke penalty after his ball ever so slightly moved while he was setting his club.
- The penalty didn't affect Rahm's result, as he had already built a sizable lead, but it did mean a $150,000 difference for one unlucky bettor on DraftKings.
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Jon Rahm fought through brutal conditions to hold on to his lead at the Memorial Tournament on Sunday, pushing him to the top overall spot in the official world golf rankings at just 25.
After Rahm gave away three strokes with a bogey and double-bogey to start the back nine, the potential for a disastrous collapse was there. But Rahm seemed to push those fears aside with an absolutely brilliant shot on the par-3 16th hole.
After sending his shot off the tee into the rough beyond the green, Rahm scooped up an incredible loft on his second shot, lobbing the ball into the air, landing it on the fringe, and rolling it straight into the hole.
—PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 19, 2020
The shot brought up immediate comparisons to Tiger Woods' epic chip-in on the very same hole in 2012, helping him seal his fifth victory at the tournament.
—GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) July 15, 2020
Rahm's birdie served as an exclamation point on his final round, putting him well ahead of the field and all but assuring him victory. Or so we thought.
As the broadcast would later point out, rules officials were looking into a possible violation as Rahm's ball appeared to move — maybe a dimple or two — while he was settling his club. It did not appear to improve Rahm's lie in any way, but the rules of golf are not exactly the most lenient.
—PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 20, 2020
Rahm was assessed a two-stroke penalty, but as he was already standing on the 18th tee, he wasn't informed of it until after his round. Thankfully, Rahm finished with an easy par, making the penalty strokes a nonissue in the tournament's outcome.
When asked about the penalty, Rahm seemed shocked. "I did not see or feel anything," Rahm said. "If it did, it is what it is. If we deem it's a penalty stroke, it's a penalty stroke. But it still doesn't take anything away from the shot honestly."
For Rahm, it was easy to keep his cool over the news. While it must have been disappointing to find out that his fantastic birdie had turned into a bogey, his win was secure, as was the $1.6 million that came with it. Life was good!
But Rahm wasn't the only one with money on the line for his performance. According to Jason Sobel at The Action Network, one unlucky bettor lost out on $150,000 thanks to the two-stroke penalty that Rahm was assessed.
Before the penalty was accounted for, a DraftKings user with the name DraftMasterFlex was leading a Sunday final-round tournament on the daily fantasy site, ready to take home the $200,000 top prize. But when Rahm's birdie turned into a bogey, the swing in the DraftKings scoring system sent DraftMasterFlex out of the top spot, leaving him with just $50,000 in winnings — still a fine day at the office, but $150,000 short of where he had been.
As Sobel pointed out, other bets, such as head-to-head matchups involving Rahm in the fourth round, also could have been affected by the penalty strokes.
Rahm's two-stroke penalty didn't affect his victory on Sunday — but for the bettor, those two strokes were worth six figures.
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