Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ask Linda #980-Can’t find provisional

If a player hits a ball and it looks like it's out of bounds, then he hits a provisional ball, gets up there and finds his original ball on the course, doesn't find his provisional ball, does he incur a penalty stroke for not finding his provisional ball?
Lou from Flagstaff, Arizona

Dear Lou,

No. The provisional ball does not become the “ball in play” unless the player’s original ball is lost or out of bounds. Since this player found his original ball on the course, the provisional was never in play and must be abandoned. There is no penalty for losing a ball that was never in play. Nor is there any obligation to search for it.

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