Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ask Linda #1175-Player mistakenly moves ball

Dear Linda,

I have attempted and failed miserably to find in the ‘decisions’ a ruling which can accurately address this situation below:

A fellow competitor in a Stroke play competition was on the green for 7 shots very close to the hole. He then had a lapse of memory or a ‘senior moment’ and temporarily believed he was playing in a Stableford competition. Consequently, he believed he was out of the hole, as he could not score any points, so he back tapped his ball with his putter toward himself in order to pick it up. As he tapped the ball towards himself, it hit his foot and bounced into the hole! He then realised what he had done.

What is the penalty and what should have been the course of action to rectify it?

Lou from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England

Dear Lou,

The competitor moved his ball in play. The penalty is one stroke, and he must replace the ball [Rule 18-2a]. Assuming he makes the putt, his score for the hole would be 9.

The back tap would not be considered a stroke [see Decision 18-2a for an analogous situation].

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