Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ask Linda #1041-Change of mind about penalty

Hi Linda,

In match play, clean and place in your own fairway.  Player A’s ball, in the fairway, walking by her ball accidentally moves the ball one inch.  Player B (match opponent) immediately says to player A – “That’s okay – it was an accident. No problem. Meaning that no penalty stroke would be assessed- allowable in match play.  Player A replaces the ball to original position. Player A hits, and player B rethinks. Then says a penalty of one stroke (correct penalty) would be assessed after all.

My question- can Player B take it back before or after the next shot is hit?  Or is it like a putt given cannot be taken back even before the ball is picked up.

Love your blog-
Lulu from Florida

Dear Lulu,

Here’s the problem, Lulu, from my perspective. If Player A knows that she has incurred a penalty, and Player B tells her to ignore the penalty, the two women have agreed to waive a penalty. Players that make such an agreement are subject to disqualification [Rule 1-3]. When Player B rethinks her decision and tells Player A that she has incurred a one-stroke penalty for moving her ball in play, she saves both players from disqualification. So my answer would be “yes” – she is entitled to change her mind and should do so.

In match play, a player is permitted to ignore a Rules violation by her opponent [Rule 2-5, Note 1]. The implication is that one player has unknowingly violated a Rule. Trouble arises in the form of disqualification when both players know the Rule and both agree to ignore it.

Concession of a match, a hole, or a stroke is another story. Once a concession has been made, it stands. The player receiving the concession may not decline it, and nothing she does after the concession matters. For example, if Lulu concedes Annie’s putt for a 4, and Annie tries and misses the putt that has already been conceded, her score for the hole is still 4.

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