THOMAS PIETERS was bizarrely given a free drop after claiming he was distracted when trying to putt.
The 30-year-old Belgian was playing the third alongside Ewen Ferguson and Victor Perez at the Cazoo Open de France on Friday.
As Pieters began his stroke on his 35-foot birdie putt, a crying child is said to have distracted him.
And despite attempting to stop he was unable to prevent contact with the ball.
Pieters explained to officials he attempted to stop – which they agreed with.
And so they let the former Ryder Cup star replace his ball and retake his putt.
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One of Sky Sport’s commentators said: “Never, ever seen that before!”
Officials applied Rule 13d of the Rules of Golf.
The rule is applied to accidents causing a ball or ball marker to move on the green.
It states: “There is no penalty if the player, opponent or another player in stroke play accidentally moves the player’s ball or ball-marker on the putting green.”
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As a result, the ball should be replaced and played from its original spot.
However, the call to allow Pieters to retake his putt has been criticised on social media.
One viewer fumed: “That is a ridiculous ruling. And could open the door to all sorts of ‘I wanted to stop but didn’t’ claims.
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“If you address the ball, take the club back and hit the ball, surely it’s a stroke?!”
Another said: “I think he definitely tried to pull back and stop his motion…but a very grey area…that’s an interesting call to make.”