Monday, November 3, 2014

Ask Linda #942-Agreement to clean ball in match

Hi Linda,

In a three-ball match play, player A hits his ball into the rough and the ball, upon pitching, collects a lump of mud. He requests to clean the mud off his ball and replace it. Player B does not object and grants the request. Player C, on noticing that player A is placing the ball, inquires as to the nature of the query and is informed that player A requested to clean his ball in the rough. Player C objects, saying there is a breach of the rules: a player is not entitled to clean mud off his ball in the rough. Player A disagrees, arguing that he was allowed to do so by player B. Player A has matches with both players B and C. What is the ruling?

Kind regards,
Lou from Zambia

Dear Lou,

Player A will incur a penalty stroke in his match vs. Player C [violation of Rule 21-Cleaning Ball] if Player C files a claim before any of the players tees off on the next hole [Rule 2-5].

Player A will not incur a penalty stroke in his match vs. Player B. Both players were ignorant of Rule 21, so the agreement to permit Player A to clean his ball did not breach Rule 1-3 (Agreement to Waive Rules). Player B may not file a claim, since there was no doubt or disagreement between A and B at the time they agreed that Player A could clean the ball.

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