Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ask Linda #1231-Wrong information causes opponent to pick up ball

Hello Linda,

Looking forward to your help with this scenario:

Player A and B are on the green. Player A announces she is in in 5. Player B is lying 6 putting for 7 (net 6) so she picks up. Before they tee off on the next hole, Player B realizes that Player A really had a 6 not a 5. Player A agrees. Had Player B putted and made it, they would have halved the hole. So, they agreed to halve the hole. 

What should have happened once the mistake was acknowledged? Is Player A disqualified on that hole for giving incorrect information? Or is she not disqualified because the mistake was corrected (by her opponent) before the next hole? If she is not DQ'd, does she then win the hole... which doesn't seem fair to Player B... 

After the match, a Pro at a local club said they should have gone back to the green, replaced Player B's ball where both agreed it was and have her putt it. Is that the right course of action to take?

Thanks so much for your help on this and so many other questions you answer for us!
Lulu from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Dear Lulu,

Ordinarily, under Rule 9-2, Player A would lose the hole for giving wrong information. However, since Player A holed out for no worse than a half (meaning if Player B had holed her next putt the hole would have been halved), the hole is halved under Rule 2-2 [Decision 9-2/6].

Rule 2-2 tells us that when a player incurs a penalty after she holes out, and her opponent is left with a putt for a half, the hole is halved. That is precisely what happened in your scenario.

The pro’s advice was incorrect.

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