Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ask Linda #979a-Disputed score in match play

Further to this ruling [Ask Linda #979], can you please advise me/clarify the following:

Does this situation only apply on the completion of the round at the 18th hole? and before extra holes?
What if, say, after the 8th hole, player A declares the match all square, they then proceed to tee off at the 9th hole…whilst walking up the 9th fairway player B checks his recording of the match and challenges the all square status, is it too late?
What if player A declares a particular match status on completion, say, of the 15th hole, as player A 3-up with 3 to play. If player A goes on to halve or win the 16th and therefore win the match, does the result stand once the players agree, shake hands, and leave the 16th green, even if whilst heading towards the clubhouse player B checks his card and realises that player A has called the match score incorrectly and player A has not yet won the match?

Lou from France

Dear Lou,

Let’s take a careful look at Rule 2-5. This Rule states that a player must make a claim in a “timely manner.” “Timely” means that the claim is made before any player in the match plays from the next teeing ground. If the dispute arises on the last hole, “timely” means before all players in the match leave the putting green. The Rule goes on to say that a claim related to a prior hole may only be considered if it is based on facts previously unknown to the player and the player had been given wrong information (both conditions are required).

Looking at your first example, the players have completed play of the 8th hole, Player A declares the match “all square,” and Player B makes no objection. According to Rule 2-5, Player B has until either player tees off on hole #9 to object to the status of the match. Once play has begun on #9, he has lost that right and may not file a claim.

In your second example, Player A is dormie after 15 holes, Player B does not object to the score, Player A halves or wins the 16th hole, the players shake hands and leave the green. The result stands. If Player B objected to the score, he needed to straighten it out or file a claim before either player teed off on the 16th hole.

I am surprised by both scenarios. Players in a match should be verifying the status after each hole, and resolving any disputes on the spot. It is foolish to do otherwise. That being said, let’s consider one more scenario. Players A and B do not verify their match score until they finish playing the 6th hole. At that point, Player A states that he is 2-up; Player B states that Player A is only 1-up. At this point, they may review their scores and try to resolve the matter. It may turn out to be a simple recording error that is easily corrected. However, I cannot emphasize enough that the status of the match be declared after each hole.

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