18 Responses to “Interesting Rulings for Tournament Officials – Archive”
Ryan Farb writes:
US Intercollegiate at Stanford April 1st
We had a couple in depth, Decisions book open, USGA on the line Rulings on the final day at Stanford. The first was fairly standard and the answer was easily confirmed in the Decisions book, the latter…not as much. First, to any of you reading this that worked Stanford, particularly on Saturday, thank you for doing such a great job and making my job easy.
The first scenario: We get a radio call from Bob Whitaker on the 1st hole at Stanford (now with the last groups to turn) that a player’s marker has informed him that a player did not announce his second ball from the tee as a provisional, which was the intention. That player had also proceeded to pick up his “provisional” after finding the original ball in play. I want to highlight that before any further action was taken Bob CALLED US ON THE RADIO…Beautiful. Perfect. Please do that every single time. Really. Given only that information over the radio and with 2/3 the Committee already in the scoring area, we advised Bob to tell the player to invoke 3-3, replace the provisional, announce which ball he would like to count if in accordance with the Rules and tell us about it at scoring. We then gathered some more info from Bob once the players had moved on.
At scoring, we ascertained the facts from the players which were consistent with Bob’s account: The player in question announced on the tee that he thought his ball was lost, he was going to hit a second ball and described the new ball. He admitted that he never used the word provisional or 27-2. Decision 27-2a/1 tells us specifically that the player must announce the word provisional or intent to proceed under 27-2 and specifically that I’ll play another one is not acceptable. So now we know which ball will count. BUT, remember him picking up his “provisional” ball? He admitted that he picked up that ball, which was now his ball in play, on his own volition which is a breach of 18-2a and comes with a one stroke penalty. Since he replaced the ball it was only one stroke. The decision to have him play two balls and replace the provisional as one of the two saved this kid a trunk slammer DQ. Great work by both Bob Whitaker and Gary Fox on this one.
Situation 2: Tyler Tharpe and myself are at the scoring area just prior to the first groups’ arrivals when none other than Casey Martin, the Oregon Head Coach more famous for his battle for a cart on the PGA TOUR (and perhaps some more memorable reactions to unfavorable rulings as a coach), stops by and says he has a Rules question for us. Well, I suppose we were the correct people to ask…. He said the USC coach was claiming his player had breached 13-4 (ok he said the coach thought his player was testing the hazard), by taking a practice swing in the bunker in a way slightly abnormal to a normal practice swing. The club never touched the sand. Tyler went with Casey to find and talk to the player in question. After ascertaining the facts, here’s what happened – after the rain from Saturday the bunkers had muddy areas and sandy/fluffy areas. The player’s ball was in a fluffy area and the place you would normally stand for a practice swing put his stance in a muddy area. The player took his practice swing stance close to the ball, with his feet very close to the ball. Tyler asked why he did it and he said he was trying to test the sand near the ball with his feet. Note that the player only took a normal stance and normal bunker dig in, just really close to the ball. Decision 13-4/0.5 specifically permits a player to do so and it is not considered testing the condition of the hazard. However, the fact that the player’s INTENT was to test the area around the ball threw us for a loop. I called Ryno, Tyler called our friend at the USGA. Ryno felt the decision absolved the player in that situation, no penalty. I agreed. Our friend at USGA felt the decision absolved the player BUT was not comfortable with the intent aspect, he called the TOP. The answer remained: no penalty. The decision and the Rule specifically permit this behavior ANYWHERE in the bunker so long as your lie is not improved and excessive digging does not occur. Simply taking a normal stance and practice swing (without touching the hazard) is not a violation of 13-4.
Beyond the Ruling itself I want to commend Tyler for how he handled the situation and player. In light of the favorable ruling he immediately went to let the player know there was no penalty rather than having to wait until scoring for the decision. Tyler put out what I feel is a good rule of thumb in this kind of situation. If a player has asked for a ruling and time is needed for discussion and confirmation such that the player will find the answer at scoring, if the ruling is favorable let him know now, if the ruling is unfavorable, wait until scoring so it doesn’t affect his round. I call that sound Rules Official etiquette.
Thanks again to Tyler and Gary for their help on the Committee this weekend and to everyone else for their hard work. Praise was very well-earned for all officials this weekend.
April 1st, 2012 at 7:18 pm
Doug Beaumont writes:
At the WCC Championship a player calls me over after putting out and describes what happened out in the fairway. He had dropped a ball in relief after hitting it into a Lateral Hazard. The ball, after the drop, is sitting on a pretty good slope and there is a leaf laying against the ball. As he reaches down to remove the leaf, the ball starts to move and by instinct he removes the leaf which is in the way of the ball as it moves.
I assess him a 2 stroke penalty for what I believe is a 13-2 violation.
However, I’m worried his coach is going to come over, plus I’m starting to question a loose impediment moved…I need to find this in the Rule Book!!
Finally, I see Rule 23-1 and it says ” when a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed”.
I found the player and showed him the rule and felt better about the ruling I made!!!
April 16th, 2012 at 8:15 pm
Ryan Farb writes:
Western Intercollegiate – April 14-15
There were a few good rulings and incidents at the Western over this past weekend, so forgive the long-winded post, but I believe you’ll enjoy some of this:
1. On the 11th hole at Pasatiempo a player hit his ball into the veranka. He found the ball and attempted to play out. The stroke from the veranka successfully exited the hazard, found it’s way to the cart path and proceeded to roll its way onto the bridge which lies within/over the hazard. The player and coach asked if the Drop Zone, which is there for a ball which enters the hazard right of the bridge. The answer was no, the ball did not enter the hazard on the right side of the bridge (right of the bridge is marked as a water hazard, left is a lateral water hazaard). Paul Layrac,offered the correct options to the player: play it as it lies off the bridge, including being able to ground your club (See 13-4/30), take relief from the lateral hazard using the point where it LAST crossed the hazard margin, play the ball from the veranka (stroke and distance), or return to the last place where he played outside the water hazard (26-2/2 is a great Decision for this situation). The ability to utilize the opposite margin actually did not apply in this case. The coach asked Paul “Are you sure?” and Paul responded by getting on the radio to confirm for the player and coach’s benefit. Well done, Paul.
2. I was near the 10th green observing tee shots on 17 when Patrick Cantlay’s group passed through and his teammate, playing in the same group, motioned me over. His mark was about two feet from the hole and he told me he moved his ball marker. I asked him to go through the whole incident for me again and he told me that he had moved his ball marker with the practice swing of his putter. I informed him this was a one stroke penalty and the ball mark must be replaced and I would confirm that with the Committee for him on the radio. I got the confirmation he replaced his marker and moved on. I did not think too much more of it until rumor came back to me the following day that the incident happened in a different manner. Via Tyler Tharpe from Patrick Cantlay, the player moved the marker while brushing aside loose impediments with his putter, which would not have been a penalty. From their head coach, the player claimed he was brushing aside loose impediments with his fingers and moved the marker. If you change the facts, the ruling changes. Unfortunately, what actually happened was irrelevant by that point as the round was complete and the penalty could not be rescinded. I am still wondering what actually happened and although it is the player’s responsiblity to correctly convey the facts to me, I learned if there is any doubt it’s ok to go through the situation two, three or four times to get it right. Even though Pedro explained what happened to me twice and confirmed by what was said on the radio, there appears to have been a miscommunication. I guess only he knows now…
3. What does it mean to be virtually certain? Two situations arose within about 20 minutes on Sunday, the more interesting of which with Mr. Cantlay’s group again. A player from the other team hit a ball in the direction of hte hazard right of the famous 16th green. It is marked as a lateral hazard but out of bounds is only several yards right of it. The player was asking for and ready to take lateral hazard relief when Cantlay spoke out and said, “We need to find that ball because its not virtually certain it’s in the haazard.” Way to protect the field Patrick. Fortunately Gail Rogers found the ball shortly after and the lengthy process to actually find a proper spot to drop began. So remember, in order for a player to take regular or lateral water hazard relief it MUST be known or virtually certain that the ball is in the hazard. Otherwise the ball is lost.
4. With the wet conditions the Lift, Clean and replace Rule was put into effect. This is different from “Preffered Lies” in that the ball must be replaced on the exact spot from which it was lifted. So the Rules read, “In closely mown areas in your own fairway a player may lift, clean and replace his ball. The ball must be marked before it is lifted under this Local Rule – see 20-1.” The text is in Appendix I under “Cleaning Ball.” “Preffered Lies” would give players a 6 inch or club length berth to place the ball in and can usually significantly improve their lie. Lift, clean and REplace gets rid of unfair “mudballs” but forces the player to play from the spot where they actually hit it.
April 17th, 2012 at 8:35 am
Ryan Farb writes:
CGA Amateur Qualifying – Bayonet / Blackhorse
We skirted by the rain and ended up with a very smooth day with just a couple of interesting situations.
The most intriguing came to my knowledge first. At Bayonet, the driving range is not out of bounds, and therefore is through the green and in play. The first three holes border the range. On the second hole, a player hooked his tee shot left onto the range. He saw the spot the ball came to rest at from a distance and then watched as the picker proceeded to scoop up his ball! Byron Washburn was first on the scene and radioed to Gail Rogers who was the rover to confirm the ruling: The ball was at rest and was moved by an outside agency which is covered by Rule 18-1. There is no penalty and the ball must be replaced. However, the player was not exactly sure of the spot and so to get the ball back into play we look to 20-3c Spot Not Determinable to see that the player will drop the ball on the estimated spot. To round it off, according to the Note 1 to Rule 18, if a ball is not immediately recoverable a ball may be substituted. Definitely not immediately recoverable in the picker still driving around a giant driving range…
We also had both starters correctly advise players not to tee off early as they were about to 7unleash their opening drives prior to their starting time. Kudos to Sam Levinger and Dick Fitzgerald for stopping their players in time to avoid penalty.
One last note that I won’t repeat this year is the mid-round withdrawal procedure. An unfortunate family incident forced a player to withdraw at the turn. Gail Rogers accepted his card and had him sign for the holes he marked on his fellow-competitor’s card. She then made sure the other two players were keeping the other’s card for the remainder of the round. If a player fails to return their card to you when they withdraw mid-round, or walks off the golf course without telling an official it’s a No Card DQ.
April 25th, 2012 at 4:54 pm
Ryan Farb writes:
Forgot one of the best rulings of the day from Bayonet…
A player’s ball was sitting on some wood chips near a tree. The player, aware of the precarious position of his ball on some wood chips, does not ground his club and therefore does not address the ball before starting his stroke. During his stroke, the ball begins to move and he completes the stroke. The player summoned an official and Byron Washburn quickly called on the radio to discuss the ruling which came from Gail… The player was not subject to penalty under 18-2b as he had not addressed the ball. The player was not subject to penalty under 14-5 as the ball began to move after he had begun his stroke. So the question was whether tha player did anything the caused the ball to move, and if so he would be subject to a one stroke penalty under 18-2a. The player did not do such a thing in this case and therefore we had a rare instance of a player not subject to any penalty when playing a moving ball. Pretty neat, right?
April 26th, 2012 at 9:31 am
Ryan Gregg writes:
A player’s tee shot was hit to an area that had several burrowing animal holes. The player could see two balls down different holes and couldn’t identify either. It is virtually the same as if he saw no balls down any hole. If it was known or virtually certain that the ball was down some hole, what would he do? Make his best estimate and proceed.
So, the player should make a best guess determination of which hole the ball went down and take relief from it. If he then has interference from another hole, he keeps going till he gets out of the area. If it happens that he bounces back and forth between two holes, 1-4/8 could be used.
Obviously if there was a Committee person around he could determine the entire area was one large GUR and solve the problem quicker.
April 26th, 2012 at 9:48 am
Sam Gross writes:
A couple of interesting situations occurred at the 2012 Senior Qualifier at Poppy Ridge on 04/26/12.
On the 8th hole on Zinfandell, a player played his tee shot to the right side of the fairway. The player hit the ball, his second shot, which landed in the rough on the right side. The player then played a ball, in the rough, which landed in the fairway. The player then played that ball to a bunker. Arriving at the bunker, the player noticed that the ball he just played was not his. The player went back to where he hit a ball into the bunker and could not find his original ball, so he then went back to where he played a ball out of the rough. The player could not find the ball so the player went back to where he played his second shot. The player dropped a ball and played the ball to the right side of the fairway. ( While this was happening the group behind the player’s group had already hit their second shots. ) The player then played a ball to about 40 yards of the green. When the player arrived where he just hit a ball, he saw that it was not the ball he originally dropped. The player then went back to where his dropped ball landed and found the ball. He then played the ball to 50 yards of the green and took four more strokes to get the ball into the hole. The Rules Committee met and determined that the player had breached Rule 15 twice, as a result of two separate acts, and was also penalized under Rule 27 for a lost ball. *8 strokes and 5 penalty strokes = 13 strokes
On the 4th hole of Chardonnay, a player hit his tee shot to the left side of the fairway across the cart path and came to a rest in an area that had clumps of grass with dirt and small gravel. There were some burrowing animal holes with some castings here and there. The ball itself was not in a burrowing animal hole or on any castings. The player arrived at his ball and was met by a Tournament Official. The player stated that he wanted relief from the burrowing animal hole. The official told the player that because the hole did not interfere with the ball, stance, or swing, no relief would be granted. The player then insisted that his stance was on castings and wanted relief. The official stated that the remains of the casting he was standing on were old and would not constitute a relief situation. The official attempted to get a Rules Official on the radio, however no one answered the call. The player’s fellow competitors told the player that he should play under Rule 3-3. The player stated that he knew he was entitled to relief and subsequently lifted the ball, took relief, and dropped the ball believing that the official was wrong. At the scoring table, the fellow competitor’s raised the issue. Prior to this, two Rules Officials went to the area where the incident occurred. The Tournament Official had marked the area where the player’s ball was. It was clear to the Rules Officials, who inspected the area, and determined that the Tournament Official was correct and that no relief should have or would have been granted. The area the player was standing was on old castings where new grass was already growing and the mound was only slightly mounded and similar to surrounding area that had clumps of grass and dirt. At the scoring table, several interrogatories were made and information was received from the player and his fellow competitors. The Rules Committee met and determined that the player was in breach of Rule 18-2 for lifting his ball and in Breach of Rule 20-7 for hitting from a wrong place. 2+1=2 2 Stroke Penalty
April 30th, 2012 at 11:59 am
Ryan Farb writes:
North Bay Zone – April 16-17
Almost skipped this, but since we are the final word on Zone rulings, I think this may interest everyone:
We had two separate Disqualification situations occur. On the first day, we had a side fail to return their scorecard in a timely manner, somewhere around an hour after they had finished. The guy simply put the card in his pocket and forgot. Per Four-Ball stroke play rules(31-7a), the side was disqualified under 6-6b. Since it is a Zone, however, it gets interesting…
First, the other side never picked up so they had a valid team score (2 balls of 4). The whole team was not Disqualified. The question was whether the DQ’d side was eligible to count their scores in the second round (31-7 states that a side is DQ’d from the competition for a breach of 6-6b)? Lee Gidney, Vic Ventura and myself were the Committee and we ruled that yes, they could return and their scores would count for the team on the second day. To back it up, Lee found Decision 33/8 which is written mostly for collegiate competitions, but applies here. It allows a competitor who is disqualified in a multiple round team competition to return in the following round and have their score count for team purposes only.
The next day we had one side of a team show up to the tee 6 minutes late. Ouch…There was a brief discussion amongst the Committee whether they should be allowed to join and count their scores from hole 2 on, being disqualified for the first hole and “joining their team” on the 2nd. The answer was no. They are a four-ball side and the side was disqualified from the round for a breach of 6-3a. Unfortunately, despite being warned of the possible DQ, the other half failed to hole both balls out on their first hole and the team was disqualified from the competition.
Zones are a complicated beast. We must Rule as if it is a four-ball competition, until we get to the point where it involves the whole team. Then it is up to us to figure out the correct Ruling from there, because the USGA won’t answer our calls if we start with the words “In a Zone Championship…”
May 2nd, 2012 at 4:44 pm
Ryan Farb writes:
We All Make Mistakes – North Zone Day 1
Remember, you haven’t made enough rulings if you haven’t made a wrong one…
A lot of things went correctly with this ruling, but my Rules Chair and I missed one important part…
We got a call on the radio (good thing number 1…radio use) that a player had accidentally used his partner’s driver on the 13th hole, when both players had full bags. We were pretty sure this was a 2 stroke penalty, radioed back and said we would radio again with the confirmation.
We went to the Rule book to double check our ruling (good thing number 2). Indeed, it is a two stroke penalty…but here comes the misstep…
We correctly ruled that it was a two stroke penalty under 4-4b, we incorrectly forgot to penalize the other member of the side in accordance with 31-6, because remember, a Zone operates under Four-Ball Stroke Play rules until we get to the point it doesn’t work anymore…
Fortunately, the player who was not penalized had a score that already did not count for the team, so the missed penalty had no effect on the team score or competition…So… whoops!
May 31st, 2012 at 5:30 pm
Ryan Farb writes:
North Zone Day 2- Redemption
I wasn’t going to write another blog for this Zone, BUT…we got a chance to redeem ourselves as a completely different side managed to have a player accidentally use his partner’s 3-wood…Whoops, this time both player and partner got the penalty…
We also had something that probably occurs more often than we catch, a pocket drop…Player hit his 2nd shot on the 5th at Poppy Hills into the water, and in pure Tin Cup fashion tossed another ball down in front of him, and hit…Incorrect drop under 20-2 that’s a one stroke penalty. Good catch Tom Olsen.
June 2nd, 2012 at 7:24 am
Ryan Farb writes:
U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifying – June 18
So I’m going to breeze over a DQ (14-2 violations during both rounds discovered during round 2, ouch) and get right into a real thinker:
A player hits a ball into the large maintenance area at Yolo Fliers. The area is deemed one large obstruction. As the official, player and maintenance worker all heard the ball rattling around in the area, it was virtually certain that the ball was in the obstruction but after a brief search the ball could not be found. The player and official determined the point where the ball last crossed the outermost limits of the obstruction and the player dropped a ball correctly under 24-3. The maintenance worker then finds the original within 5 minutes of starting the search.
Proceeding logically from the ruling given in 26-1/3.5 the official rules that the “reference point” for the ball has changed and the player must re-drop with relation to 24-2b (nearest point of relief from where the ball lay).
Upon discussing the ruling the committee and official are divided. I look up and find 25-1c/2.5 which is the parallel decision relating to Abnormal ground conditions and obstructions and at first believe the official has proceeded correctly. After more debate Moriarty sways me to believe differently. To confirm, I wrote JVB at the USGA. Here’s how it should go:
When the player dropped a ball under 24-3 the original was lost, definition of lost ball. The player had proceeded correctly under an applicable rule and 20-6 would only apply if the discovery of the original ball changed the reference point with regards to 24-3. The player is not entitled to operate under a different rule and take relief under 24-2b. So to sum it up, the player must correct the drop ONLY if the position of the original changes the point where the ball last crossed the outermost limit of the obstruction.
If you are still trying to parallel 26-1/3.5 and 25-1c/2.5 but are running into trouble because you’ve read 26-1/16 which states that the player can change relief options in the 26-1/3.5 situation, here’s the difference: 24-3 and 25-1c do not have multiple relief options. To change from using the point where the ball last crossed the outermost point of an obstruction or abnormal ground condition to the nearest point of relief from where the ball lay is changing the RULE not the OPTION. In 26-1/3.5 the Rule is 26-1 which has 3 options. Under 20-6 you can change options.
So if you find yourself in one of these situations where you drop under 24-3 or 25-1c and then find the original, remember, you still operate under 24-3 or 25-1c. If you find the original and still know the ball last crossed the outermost limit of the obstruction in the same place, then the ball was dropped correctly and 20-6 does not apply.
Sleep on that one…
June 19th, 2012 at 4:58 pm
Lance Parker writes:
Format is NCGA Thursday Team play.
A & B are one side playing C & D. On the singles side, A is playing C and B is playing D.
Situation: On the 14th hole at San Luis Obispo CC, par 3, with all matches square, Player A’s tee shot is 12 inches from the hole, Player B’s ball is in back bunker 20 feet from hole, Player C’s ball hole high 40 feet from hole and Player D’s ball is hole high 40 feet from the hole. Player C concedes Player A’s stroke for a 2. Side A/B has a 2. Player C chips up to about 3 feet and picks up his ball. Single side A wins hole with a 2. Player D chips to about 12 feet. Side A/B wins hole with a 2. Player B chips to about 20 feet. At this point the Four-Ball is done with A/B winning the hole with a 2 and Player A winning his single match with a 2. All that is left is the single match between B and D.
Question: Can A and C help their partners with advice even though the Four-Ball is done with the hole, but the Four-Ball match will continue on to the 15th hole? Knowing the rule that when the Four-Ball match is done, the partners are no longer partners but singles. When is done determined?
June 22nd, 2012 at 2:17 pm
Ryan Gregg writes:
They are considered partners until they start the play of the next hole. It would be unreasonable to let them give advice during the play of the hole until the four-ball match has been decided and then require them to no longer be partners on the same hole. What if they didn’t realize the four-ball match was over? Maybe Player A holed the ball from the tee and nobody saw it and then He tells his partner what club he used.
June 22nd, 2012 at 2:38 pm
Ryan Farb writes:
Associate Club Four-Ball Net Day 2 – June 26
Rule 20-3d came up on several occasions so I’m going to highlight two interesting rulings that came my way.
The first came to my attention after the ruling was given and I want to highlight it because despite correctly using the radio, whoever gave the answer missed this one…
A player on the 18th hole at Poppy Hills marked his ball. When replacing it it failed to come to rest and rolled down a slope. The official radioed for confirmation but unfortunately confirmed that the player was supposed to play the ball from where it came to rest. In this situation as it was related to me from the player involved, 20-3d applies and the player was required to replace the ball. If it failed to come to rest on the spot the player should have replaced the ball on the nearest spot not nearer the hole where the ball would come to rest. Because the official gave the ruling the player was absolved from the 20-7 2 stroke penalty.
A player’s ball came to rest against a rake on the down slope of a bunker. When he removed the rake, the ball rolled forward into the bunker. He was sure he needed to replace it, so he tried and it would not stay and rolled back into the bunker. Unsure what to do, the group convinced the player to invoke Rule 3-3 and play two balls. He elected his original ball to count which he played from the bunker where it came to rest. He then placed a second ball on the spot from which the ball moved. It again would not stay and so he placed it on the nearest spot not nearer the hole where it would stay.
When this ruling came to me I walked them through step by step…The first part of the situation involved 24-1a. The player was entitled to move the obstruction and there was no penalty if the ball moved. The ball had to be replaced. When attempting to replace the ball Rule 20-3d applied as the failed to come to rest. He then needed to place the ball in the nearest spot not nearer the hole that the ball would stay. So his second ball counted.
Change the facts and you get a different ruling: In either of these cases, had the ball when initially replaced stayed put for any amount of time before it rolled to another spot, the player would be required to play the ball from where it came to rest without penalty. Rule 20-3d applies only when the ball fails to come to rest. If the balls comes to rest, even for just a moment, Rule 20-3d does not apply.
June 27th, 2012 at 10:42 am
I was recently reminded of this blog so I’m catching up on my reading and the entry by Ryan regarding burrowing animal holes brought to mind a related question I sent three years ago to “Stump the Rules Wizards.” For those of us who officiate or play at courses with areas of burrowing animal holes the following question and answer from John Vander Borght may prove useful in the future:
Q. On a course we play frequently there are areas where burrowing animals have taken up residence. Sometimes there may be 10-20 holes in an area otherwise devoid of grass or any other hiding place for a golf ball. If a ball ends up in such an area and is not found, it is in a hole. In order to use Rule 25.1.c must the player know which single hole the ball dove into or can the player make an educated choice or must the player proceed under Rule 27?
John Vander Borght replied:
If it is known or virtually certain that the ball is lost in one of the burrowing animal holes, you can use Rule 25-1.c. If the burrowing animal holes are close together, the club should probably make the entire area Ground Under Repair so that you could drop outside it. We checked with the USGA regarding what you should do if the area is not marked. The proper way to take relief depends on the circumstances. If the area is an open field or bare dirt, you should use the hole that is farthest from the hole in determining your relief. If the area is such that there are some places where a player would have an open shot to the green while others would only allow a chip out to the fairway, the player should find an area which was neither the most, nor the least, favorable of the various areas where it was equally possible that the ball originally lay. So, you should find a hole that gives you a shot somewhere near the average of the possible shots and take relief from it. This is consistent with Decision 18-1/5 for a ball that was taken by an outside agency from an unknown spot.
July 12th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
Ryan Farb writes:
East Sacramento Zone – Day 1
There was one situation that I want to highlight mostly for how it was handled rather than the difficulty of the ruling.
On the 6th hole at Quail Lodge a player hit his tee shot immediately right into the thicker undergrowth of the lateral water hazard, with some velocity. While the point where it last crossed the margin of the hazard was determined there arose the question as to whether the ball may have crossed into the housing area and be out of bounds. The way Quail Lodge has marked #6, the out of bounds stakes end close to the end of the initial fairway where the lateral hazard starts to turn (and becomes a regular water hazard). This final OB stake is well beyond the point where it last crossed.
The local rule we have for the 6th hole at Quail Lodge states that the lateral water hazard on the right hand side extends to infinity. We ruled that without any marking to state otherwise, the ball was considered in the hazard regardless of the distance it covered after crossing the margin (meaning in the house is in the hazard at that point). It seems to me a situation where what “is” and what “should be” don’t necessarily coincide.
But I need to praise David Witt, Phil Sexton and Frank Mann for handling this one. In the confusing situation they did not attempt to make a ruling without consultation. They used the radio. They radioed me for a ruling and given the circumstances and description I was not able to make a definitive call and recommended they have the player use 3-3 and I would survey the situation in person. They did so and when I saw the situation in person I was able to determine the ruling had to refer to the local rule that we have in place and the player’s ball was in the hazard. As the Rover, Frank went and informed the player of the ruling and in this case it was good news.
So remember folks, radios are our friends.
July 17th, 2012 at 7:56 am
Don Chaisson writes:
The 2012 British Open had some interesting “rules” comments from the ESPN gang during the on air telecast — picked up and addressed by Gary Van Sickle of SI (link below)
1. Azinger suggesting Tiger should consider taking an unplayable OUT of that bunker on #6. (really??) apparently, Azinger corrected himself during Tiger’s play on the 7th hole.
2. Kratzert saying that Snedeker “found” his ball in the trees on the 7th, but decided to play his provisional from the bunker “instead” ??
3. On air commentary that Adam Scott might have a problem with his ball moving after coming to rest near the 7th green — though never addressing the ball. ?? Apparently, the on course rules official steps in and stipulated that there was no penalty — in conflict with the on air “official”.
Interesting and well written blog report.
PS.. this is my firsts attempt at posting on this blog — so be nice! heheehee.
July 23rd, 2012 at 4:04 pm
Paul Sprague writes:
I’m new at this so bear with me:
This occured at the net amateur, metropolitan links:
I was on the 11th hole, a par 4, when I saw a player pick up a ball on the left side just off the green. He went to the right side, just off the green and played a ball to the green and holed in 2 putts. I asked him what had occured to cause him to pick up the ball on the left side. this is his reply; I hit my tee shot O/B and hit another ball from the tee. I hit from the fairway and the ball appeared to go over the green, I looked behind the green, could not find my ball so I went back to the fairway and hit another ball, (27-1), that ball came to rest just off the green to the left. before I played that ball one of my fellow competitors pointed to a ball to the right of the green. I identified it as the first one I hit from the fairway. I picked up the ball on the left of the green and played the ball on the right side. I took three more strokes to hole out that ball.
I told him to drop a ball where he picked up the ball on the left side of the green and play it out. At this point I wanted him to finish the hole with the correct ball and continue play without risking a DQ.
I went to Frank Sally and told him what had occured. Frank and I went through the hole: 1 off the tee, O/B, 3 off the tee, 4 to the right side of the green,5 back to the fairway, 6 to the left side of the green, 7 when he picked up the ball, (18-2), 8-9 when he played the wrong ball on the right side of the green and 10-11-12 to hole out the ball in play from the left side of the green.