PGA Championship 2018: Shane Lowry says 'referee didn’t have the balls to make a decision' on ruling

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Shane Lowry (Getty Images)

Irishman Shane Lowry has a score to settle with a couple PGA Championship rules officials.

Lowry was pitted up against a television tower Sunday on the par-3 16th during the final round of the PGA Championship, and after a lengthy discussion with the officials, was forced to play his shot obscured by a moveable obstruction.

Entering the holes, Lowry was 10 under, hoping to finish in the top 5. But he bogeyed the 16th, then compounded the mistake by bogeying the par-517 and dropping into a tie for 12th at 8 under.

Lowry was irate with the rules officials on hand, claiming they didn’t do their job. 

“I think the referee didn’t have the balls to make a decision there and, if he did, I would have had an easier shot,” Lowry said, via irishtimes.com. “If you put John Paramor or any of the good referees out there and he would have given me full relief. But he wasn’t giving me full relief, he was telling me to drop it in the tree basically. I ended up making a good four; if I’d made double I wouldn’t have been too happy with him. It is what it is. It took so long I felt I was getting in Justin (Thomas’) way, he ended up making bogey as well.

“The camera tower was the issue. I took my drop there was another camera tower in my way, straight away I felt I should get dropped on other side and they were getting me to drop it in the middle of the tree. I can’t, so where do I drop it? They’re saying drop it here, I have a club length (to drop the ball) and it is still my way. He wouldn’t make a decision. The other referee said, ‘it is your decision’. I said, ‘Do you know what? I’m just going to play’. I didn’t want to wait around any longer. It happened. It is not the end of the world.”

Currently ranked 81st in the world, Lowry has three straight top-15 finishes. Despite the current rise in form, Lowry likely won’t be on the 2018 European Ryder Cup team.