John Senden's driver snapped mid-swing during the opening round of the Australian PGA Championship on Thursday causing him to whiff on a tee shot and the club's shaft to stab him in the hand. The good news for the Aussie? He appeared to walk away from the bizarre incident without a serious injury. The bad news? The stroke counted. The rules of golf can be pretty brutal, huh?
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Check out the wild sequence from this European Tour event in full speed:
And here it is in slow-motion:
And here's a different angle in which you can better see the club break, which occurred by the grip:
After a lengthy discussion with a rules official, Senden was told the swing on the par-5 9th counted as a shot and that he'd have to play his second shot with the ball teed up high despite not having use of his driver anymore. And let's just say playing partner Geoff Ogilvy was NOT happy about the ruling (NSFW language):
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Senden actually wound up getting to take a drop when his tee was considered an obstruction, but the shot was not rescinded. He played an iron for his second and went on to make bogey, which, all things considered, was a great result. The two-time PGA Tour winner made the turn at minus one — both in score and in drivers.
Senden posted an even-par 72 at RACV Royal Pines Resort, putting him six shots off the lead by Jake McLeod and Matt Jager, and spoke about the weird situation after. He acknowledged feeling discomfort from the broken shaft pinching one of his fingers and that, understandably, the entire episode left him "spooked."
Senden's other playing partner, Harold Varner III, summed up how most golfers would have felt about the incident.
"I would have lost it on a tough call like that," Varner said, "but Sendo handled it with such cool."