Explained: Jon Rahm’s Controversial TIO Ruling and Why Golf Fans Are Furious About It: ‘No Way in Hell’

Published 02/19/2023, 6:45 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

After an amazing start to the 2023 season, Jon Rahm is delivering another dazzling performance at the Genesis Open. The Spaniard is leading the competition by three strokes ahead of Sunday’s final round. With another trophy on the cards, Rahm was the toast of the town in the golf community, but there was more than one reason for it.

Jon Rahm escapes harsh ruling

While he was sitting comfortably at the top, Rahm was relieved of a soft ruling in Saturday’s play. The incident occurred at the par-4 third hole, where players have gone for extravagant tee shots with high hopes. The 28-year-old duly followed but ended up with a poor drive that landed in no man’s land.


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While onlookers suggested the place to be a parking lot, the ball came to rest in one of the staging areas for equipment, which is referred to as TIO (temporary immovable obstruction). The particular area is supposedly clear on other days, and commonly features tents, scoreboards, grandstands, and television towers, among others.

via Imago

While hitting the ball back on the course would have been a mighty problem for Rahm, he was relieved of the impending crisis with a free drop.

The ruling caused controversy among fans on the internet, who groaned at the level of severity of the ruling. Netizens were convinced that the Spaniard would have been stuck had he played out from the TIO area, in which Rahm eventually saved his par. Here’s a selection of those tweets.

How did Rahm react to the ruling?


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At the end of the day’s play, Rahm reflected upon the incident. “I was 99.9 percent sure it was TIO,” Rahm said afterward. “But take advantage of the rules and hit a provisional at least.”

When asked whether he should have been punished with a harsher ruling, Rahm let his thoughts out. “They needed that for the tournament,” Rahm said of the TIO. “On a regular day, there’s nothing there and I would be able to play my golf ball from where it was. So no.”

The 2021 U.S. Open winner was least bothered by the incident, displaying a masterful performance to shoot 6-under par. The score puts him on top of the leaderboard, ahead of the all-important Sunday battle.


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Do you think Rahm will win the Genesis Open title? What are your opinions on his TIO ruling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Sharan Nair


One take at a time

Sharan is an Engineering student with a desire to carve out a career in sports journalism. He is an ardent Tiger Woods fan and his 2019 Masters victory is what further cemented his love for the golfer. A die hard football fan, Sharan can be seen cheering for Real Madrid, and playing FIFA every chance he gets.
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Edited by:

Manaal Siddiqui