Monday, September 28, 2015

Ask Linda #1158-Fellow competitor stops ball


Sorry. I know you are flat out, but I just think you give the best answers and responses and I have looked up rules and decisions about this question.

A friend (A) was playing and hit her ball towards the green. It was hit too hard and went skimming across the green. She called out “stop,” thinking she was talking to the ball (as we are all prone to do at some stage in our game). However, a fellow competitor (B) thought she meant it literally and stopped the ball with her foot.

My friend (A) was told she got a penalty and as it was Stableford was told she had no more points left and to pick up the ball.

According to what I have read, it is either play the ball as it lies (rub of the green) if it was an accidental deflection of a moving ball, or if it was a deliberate deflection of a moving ball, the ball is dropped where it may have ended up but not in a hazard, no penalty, but the person stopping the ball deliberately is in breach of a rule and is disqualified .

My problem is the lady (B) who stopped the ball, while it was not accidental and it was deliberate, it was not done with malice or to better her own position. She just had a brain fade and thought she was being told to stop it.

What should have happened?

Lulu from Perth, Australia

Dear Lulu,

You ladies certainly know how to get yourselves into some strange predicaments!

In essence, what you are telling me is that a ball in motion was deliberately stopped by a fellow competitor who misunderstood the player’s request for the ball to stop.

The player must estimate the spot where her ball would have stopped on its own and drop it there [Rule 19-1, Note, a (i)]. There is no penalty to the player.

The fellow competitor (the player who stopped the ball) incurs a two-stroke penalty [Rule 1-2]. She would only be disqualified for a serious breach of the Rule, which this clearly was not.

I hope you had a good laugh about it.

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