Rules Official Shanks One

June 20, 1994|By Don Markus

OAKMONT, Pa. -- An admitted mistake yesterday by Trey Holland, chairman of the U.S. Open rules committee, might be the reason Ernie Els still is in contention going into today's 18-hole playoff.

Holland's ruling came after Els snap-hooked his drive at No. 1 into what looked like thick, tangled rough. Instead of having to try to hit out, or drop with a one-shot penalty, Els was able to drop because Holland ruled that a crane holding a television camera was an unmovable obstruction.

"In the past, we've had some [forklift-type] equipment that are not movable," said Holland, working at his seventh Open, his second as rules chairman.

The crane was later moved, and so was Holland to admit his mistake. Holland said that he realized his error while walking to the second tee. "I made a mistake," he said softy. "I feel bad about it."

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