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Golf Monthly
Golf Monthly
Mike Hall

WATCH: Emiliano Grillo's Ball Rolls Back 150 Yards After Landing In Aqueduct

Emiliano Grillo watches his ball roll in an aqueduct at the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge

Argentinian Emiliano Grillo won his first PGA Tour title in eight years in the Charles Schwab Challenge, but not before some extraordinary late drama.

Taking a two-shot lead into the 72nd hole, victory for the 30-year-old had seemed assured before a wayward tee shot went too far right and landed in an aqueduct within the penalty area. Thanks to the water’s current, the ball began rolling back towards the tee box. 

Grillo could have taken a shot with the ball moving at that point. Rule 10.1d of the Rules of Golf states: “A player must not make a stroke at a moving ball.” However, an exception reads: “When a ball is moving in temporary water or in water in a penalty area, the player may make a stroke.” He opted not to, and eventually, the ball came to rest in front of a stone, around 150 yards from its initial entry into the water.

That left Grillo with another decision - play the ball from there, or take a drop with a one-shot penalty. He opted for the latter, which he took from his line of entry into the aqueduct, albeit on concrete. Grillo’s third shot was then short of the green, and he eventually had to settle for a double-bogey, allowing Adam Schenk to force a playoff.  

Thankfully for Grillo, his ball’s encounter with the water didn’t prove too costly, as he eventually closed out victory at Colonial with a five-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole for his first win on the PGA Tour since the 2015 Open.

After his win, Grillo relived the incident and explained he knew what was coming as soon as he’d sprayed his tee shot too far to the right. He said: “I’ve done it before. I’ve hit the exact same shot to the right of the tree. I knew it, when I saw one of the marshals walk right of the tree, I knew it was going to be a long wait until that ball stopped. It stopped for like five, ten seconds at one moment. I actually thought I got lucky. So I had a big window. Then five seconds later, the ball kept moving.”

“I tried my hardest to make a 5. I wasn’t able. I knew that, if I finish ahead of Scottie Scheffler, I was going to have a chance still. So I was - after my, whatever, third shot, that was my only goal was to have a chance for that 5.”

The win sees Grillo leap from from World No.80 to World No.42 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

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