College golfer drops ball in water, nearly costs team shot at NCAA Championship

Just when you think you've seen it all in golf, something you've never seen or even dreamed of takes place. Or it did on Wednesday when Jacksonville University's David Wicks dropped his golf ball in the water after marking it on the green to read his putt. 

Here's Ryan Lavner with the story.

On the fourth hole at LSU's University Club, his 13th of the day, senior David Wicks marked his 3-footer for par and waited for the other two players in his group to finish out. He crouched on a steep bank to read his putt, but as he stood up and reached for the ball in his right front pocket, he dropped it.

Of course, it didn't just fall straight down. No, it kicked off the back of his shoe, rolled off the green, around a bulkhead, and after a brief chase he watched it tumble into the water on the left side of the green. 

It's a two-stroke penalty to not finish the hole you're playing with the ball you're playing, so of course, Wicks had to go in after his rock. He stripped down and hopped in -- something former LSU golfer Smylie Kaufman said was a poor idea (the regional was being held at LSU).

After finding 20 balls in five minutes, but not his own, Wicks had to take the penalty and finish the hole. 

"It was warm," Wicks told Golf Channel. "Nice temperature. If I had a nice inflatable and a Diet Coke, it would have been a lovely afternoon."

The most astounding part? His team tied Northwestern at 883 over three days following Wicks' 1-under 71. So the two teams went to a playoff, which Jacksonville won.


Had Wicks not dropped his ball off his foot, Jacksonville would have been in by two (the top five teams move on). As it was, they nearly were not part of the 30-team field that made it to the NCAAs. Jacksonville will join Oklahoma State, USC, Stanford and 26 other squads at Rich Harvest Farms starting next week.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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