Keegan Bradley withdrew from the BMW
Championship prior to the third round due to a potential rules infraction on
the 18th hole of the first round. After hitting his tee shot in the water
hazard on his tee shot on No. 18 on Thursday, Bradley's third shot from 233
yards with a 4-iron came up short of the green, embedding in the steep grass
face just above the left bunker. Bradley took relief (Rule 25-2) for a ball
embedded in its own pitch mark. After taking relief, he chipped onto the green
and 2-putted for a double-bogey six. After a conversation with a fan after the
round where the fan told Bradley he had seen the ball bounce before coming to
rest, Bradley was unsettled about his handling of 25-2 and conferred Friday
morning with PGA TOUR Vice President of Rules and Competitions Slugger White,
who absolved Bradley of any potential violation after the two discussed the
situation and examined the pitch mark at the 18th hole.
Saturday morning, Bradley withdrew from the BMW Championship after rounds of 71-70 (T41) as he had lingering doubts about whether or not his ball in question had come to rest in its own pitch mark. Entering the week 28th in the FedExCup standings, Bradley is in danger of falling out of the top 30 and qualifying for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Bradley has qualified for the FedExCup Playoff finale each of his first three years on TOUR (2011-13).
From a Lagardère Unlimited - Golf press
release, Bradley was quoted:
"I just feel withdrawing is the right thing to do to protect the field in the BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship next week. It's eating me alive. I didn't call my fellow competitors for help in the first place and that bothers me. I know the official approved the drop but I just can't be absolutely sure it was the right spot."
25-2. Embedded Ball
A ball embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground in any closely mown area through the green may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green. "Closely mown area" means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.