Friday, July 19, 2013

Ask Linda #692-Player disqualified for lifting a ball

Hi Linda,

In a stroke play (medal competition, not Stableford) today my friend was disqualified. We are confused at to whether she should have been.

She has only played Stableford before, so thinking on the fifth hole that she had played too many strokes to score she picked up her ball on the green. They told her that she couldn't do that. She replaced it and finished the hole. They then said she had a two-stroke penalty and that she had to be disqualified.

I have been trying to find the rule that would apply but cannot. The only one I read about it was Rule 1-2 which says a one-shot penalty and only disqualification if she was trying to gain an advantage.

Please could you confirm what should have happened in this situation?

Thank you,
Lulu from the UK

Dear Lulu,

When a player lifts her ball in play, she incurs a one-stroke penalty and must replace the ball [Rule 18-2a]. The player in your scenario lifted her ball (due to confusion about the format), replaced it as properly instructed, and completed the hole. She should have been assessed a one-stroke penalty and should not have been disqualified.

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