Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ask Linda #991-Weird match play claim

Linda, a friend of mine and her partner were playing match play against another club today. The situation is this: They were on the last hole of the match and Mary's partner's putt almost went in the hole and she just tapped it in for a six. Mary, who had not putted yet, said she was putting for a five. The opposing team said that was too bad, because once a team putts out the team has to accept that score even though Mary had not yet putted for a possible five. I know that is the case in Captain's Choice, but I have never heard or read that rule for Match Play. Please clarify this for me and for my other team members. 
Lulu from Chapin, South Carolina

Dear Lulu,

I am not familiar with Captain’s Choice, but I am familiar with the rules of match play. There is nothing in the Rules that prohibits a player from completing the hole after her partner has holed out. This may be one of the strangest claims I have ever read. It is a baseless claim.

Response from Lulu:
Thank you so much.  My friend Mary told me what happened, but unfortunately she and her partner did not know the rules... You have told us again and again that we should know the basic rules (surely this one was rather basic), and not be "bullied" by the opposing team. Thanks again.

My response:
Lulu, no one can be expected to know every Rule. However, you should tell your players that the next time an opponent informs them of a Rule they have never heard of, there are two things they can do:

1. Hand the opponent a rulebook and ask them to show them the Rule. (In your scenario, they would not be able to find the Rule, since it isn't in the book.)

2. Tell the opponent: "I have never heard of that Rule. Since this is match play, I am going to finish the hole. If you disagree with my procedure, you can file a claim." (In your scenario, the player had nothing to lose by trying her putt.)

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