During the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, Tom Weiskopf came to the par-5 ninth hole one stroke behind the leaders. His second shot drifted right of the green and his ball came to rest … inside a concession stand! Typically a temporary structure such as a concession stand is classified as a temporary immovable obstruction, or TIO. This is a different classification from a standard immovable obstruction and is covered by the Local Rule found in Appendix I of the Rules of Golf.
If a player wishes, free relief is granted for physical interference from a TIO – just as it is for immovable obstructions. Unfortunately, due to the camera angle in the video, we are unable to see exactly how and where Weiskopf took relief, but you can hear him humorously describe the situation in the video above. His drop left him in a favorable spot as he was able to pitch up to about 5 feet from the hole and make a birdie to tie for the lead.
While Weiskopf was getting the ruling from officials on the scene, Arnold Palmer and John Schlee were invited to play through to help keep the pace of play moving. The next group behind Palmer and Schlee included Julius Boros, the oldest player in the field at the age of 53, who was tied for the lead coming to the ninth hole. The long wait seemed to have a negative effect on the quick-playing Boros and, following a three-putt par, he slipped out of contention.
However, everyone was outplayed that day by young Johnny Miller’s historic 63, which led to a one-stroke victory.