Rahm wins Irish Open but not without controversy over ball placement

Photo of Rahm wins Irish Open but not without controversy over ball placement

Jon Rahm ran away with the Irish Open on Sunday at Portstewart Golf Club, but it came with a bit of controversy in the final round.

At the par-3 sixth, Rahm's first putt landed on playing partner Daniel Im's ball marker, and therefore the Spaniard had to mark his ball to the side of the American's, so that Im could putt out.

After Im finished the hole, Rahm relocated his marker, but put his ball in front of his coin instead of beside the marker.

Jon Rahm avoids a penalty for doing this on the sixth green. The right decision?

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After European Tour official Andy McFee spoke with Rahm on the 13th hole, the official believed no intent was made to break the rule.

"The reason why there is no penalty is because I think Jon has made a reasonable judgement here," McFee told RTE Sports. "I see the ball being lifted from a position, which is not at 90 degrees on the ball marker."

LPGA star Lexi Thompson lost the ANA Inspriation in April, after she was handed a four-shot penalty for a similar infraction in Saturday's third round.

"To my eyes, I put the ball back exactly where it was," the Irish Open champion told the Golf Channel.

Rahm won by six shots on Sunday, so a two-stroke penalty wouldn't have made a difference in the end, but Brandel Chamblee of the Golf Channel believes the integrity of the win was denigrated.

"I'm very comfortable," McFee said on the decision. "I like where the game is going on this one."

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