(Reuters) – Golfers can remove loose impediments without penalty under the rules of the game and while they usually take the form of twigs and stones, Padraig Harrington found himself heaving a huge tree branch out of the way to get to his ball at the Irish Open.
The three-times major winner found trouble with an errant shot at the 10th in Thursday’s first round, with an on-course marshal locating his ball in some thick brush among the trees.
After seeing that a huge limb obstructing his ball was not connected to a tree he and caddie Ronan Flood hauled it off without affecting his lie and he was able to get a cleaner swing.
Harrington posted a European Tour video clip of the incident on his Twitter page, adding the comment: “PaddysGolfTips. Know you rules”.
The 49-year-old double bogeyed the hole en route to a 71, six strokes behind joint-leaders Aaron Rai, Dean Burmester and Jordan Smith.
Harrington said the branch had not been that difficult to move.
“It was actually dead light but it looked good,” he added.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)