Pieters called the umpire and was informed he could take it again because he “hit it by accident”. A relieved Pieters equalized with two strokes and continued.
But when he got to the clubhouse, Mark Litton, the umpire, was waiting to say that the umpire was incorrect and that he should simply continue from where the ball ended. However, the round of 70 would stand because of guidelines in the R&A rule book, which states that if the umpire mistakenly advises a player to call off a stroke, the score counts with a re-stroke.
No disrespect to Pieters – who was inevitably portrayed as the villain in some social media circles, but was not really at fault – but we can only hope he doesn’t win by a stroke on Sunday.
At five under, the world number 33 appears to be in a tie for seventh, but is actually 10 shots behind Rasmus, the young Dane, who is 15 under after a 65 and six shots ahead of his nearest pursuers, Frenchmen Paul Barjon. .