Thursday, July 7, 2016

Ask Linda #1335-Player refuses concession

Hi Linda,
The following seems to have been covered on a variety of sites, but with no clear instruction as to a penalty or not, so I hope you can help with the following situation that occurred recently.

Situation: Matchplay, Four-Ball (better ball), Players A & B versus Players C & D.
Player C concedes the hole to Player A, Player B has already picked up.
Player A refuses the concession (under the grounds of “it’s too far away, you are too generous”), and continues to putt out with his next shot.

Question: The rules state that a player cannot refuse or withdraw a concession of a hole, but there seems to be no indication of a penalty. My club rules guru even tells me there is no penalty. If so, what’s the point of having the rule that you cannot refuse a concession?
I think that the rules also state that breaking of a rule should be penalised.
Question: Has player A incurred a penalty? If so, what is the penalty?

Hope you can help.
Thank you for reading.

Best wishes,
Lou from the UK, currently living in Portugal

Dear Lou,

Your club rules guru is correct. Player A incurs no penalty. As soon as Player C concedes the hole to Player A, the hole is over for Player A. Nothing a player does after a concession counts, and the player (Player A) is considered to have holed out with his next stroke.

While Player A may not decline the concession, and Player C may not withdraw the concession [Rule 2-4], it is not a violation to putt after a concession (except in one situation, which I will explain below). Think of the putt after the concession as a practice stroke on the green last played after the hole is finished [Rule 7-2]. Regardless of whether Player A holes that after-concession putt, the hole was over for him as soon as Player C conceded it. It is irrelevant whether Player A makes the putt or misses.

The story is different in a four-ball when a player’s putt has been conceded but his partner has yet to putt. If the player putts after the concession, and the putt would assist his partner (with the break, line, speed, etc.), his partner is disqualified from the hole [Decision 2-4/6]. In team match play, I always encourage players to pick up their ball when the putt is conceded. They may try the putt after everyone has finished the hole, at which time no one will argue as to whether their partner was assisted by seeing their post-concession putt.

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