European Tour

McGinley contacts Grace over 'ridiculous' drop

Branden Grace (Getty)
Branden Grace (Getty)

Wentworth - South African Branden Grace revealed he had a message from former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley in the wake of his rules controversy on Thursday.

McGinley, working as a television commentator at the European PGA Championship, said Grace had taken a "ridiculous" free drop on the 13th in his first round when he was allowed to move the ball because a mat by a bunker was affecting his stance.

Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, took to social media to ask the European Tour to explain the ruling which allowed Grace to have an easier shot than he would have done.

As it turned out Grace still made a bogey to finish with a 68, four-under-par, and his second round on Friday he added a 71 to remain two shots off the lead.

And after the round he told reporters McGinley had been in touch to say he was not blaming the player but the rules of golf.

Grace said: "I actually received a message from Paul this morning saying that he had nothing against me at all and he didn't criticise me for taking a drop.

"He doesn't agree with the ruling - so that was a little bit nicer to hear from him so that made looking over the situation a little easier.

"Sometimes the rules work in your favour, sometimes they don't. I did not write the rule book.

"The rules official was there for a reason and it was his call at the end of the day. He thought it was a fair question from my side and that was the ruling. The rule is there for a reason and I used it to my advantage.

"There were a couple of players that said some stuff but a couple of guys came up to me on the putting green. Peter Hanson said he had a situation like that on Thursday and he didn't even think of asking for the ruling.

"He said to me this morning if he knew what he knows now, if he ever gets in that situation then he might ask. I am sure I am not going to be the last one. There is a lot of controversy in the rulings these days."

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