Should Kevin Na have been Penalized for "Whiff"?

A very interesting occurrence happened during the third round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open involving Kevin Na and a "whiffed" tee shot.

Addressing the ball on the 15th tee, Na began his back swing as normal, coiling to launch his drive. The controversy that has sparked a lot of social media debate happens during his downswing towards the ball.

As he starts his downswing towards the ball, Na then swings the club head well over the top of the ball, appearing as though a PGA Tour pro just whiffed on a tee shot.

In real speed it looked as though that is exactly what just occurred.

PGA Tour Officials were called in of course to review this odd incident and it was determined that Na made no attempt to actually strike the ball. Therefore, no penalty stroke would be assessed to him.
In his post-round press conference, Na of course was asked about the incident on the 15th tee.

"That wasn't the first time they made a big deal about it. I did it at the Travelers, too, on 16. It was on TV."

"I did it on TV a few times, and to me it's just -- I do it every time, probably one or two a round. I already did it on the front nine with an iron, and nobody talked about it."

Na was saved from a penalty stroke by rule 14 under the rules of golf.

The rule stats, 'The player is considered to have checked his downswing voluntarily by altering the path of his downswing and missing the ball even though the swing carried the club beyond the ball.'

'If the player had not successfully checked his downswing (i.e., he had struck the ball), he is considered to have made a stroke.'

It was a strange incident to see on TV at real time nonetheless.

However, after hearing the officials give their analysis of what transpired and reading the rules carefully, Na was well within the rules to do what he did on the tee.

Although, for a brief moment, hackers around the world thought they were equals to a PGA Tour player.

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