Abraham Ancer was assessed a two-stroke penalty on Thursday following what he thought was an opening-round 73 after unknowingly grazing the sand with his club prior to making his third stroke from the greenside bunker on hole No. 15. The penalty was delivered after video evidence was reviewed by Augusta National competition committee regarding a potential breach of rules.
“The touching of the sand was deemed visible to the naked eye,” ANGC said in a statement. “Had this not been the case, the video evidence would have been disregarded and a penalty would not have been applied.”
The penalty changed Ancer’s Round 1 score from 73 to 75, dropping him from T20 on the leaderboard to T52. Ancer posted video of the incident after learning about the penalty, where you can see his club barely grazing the sand prior to making contact with his ball.
Ancer, 30, is playing in his second career Masters after finishing T13 at the tournament in November. He played the first nine at 1 under on Thursday before finishing with a second-nine score of 4 over.
“Played good. I’m not mad or disappointed,” he said after his round. “I feel like I played pretty solid for how I hit it. Rolled it pretty good, too.”