Monday, July 18, 2016

Ask Linda #1342-Putt out of turn in match play

Linda, I was playing in a match event and was told a player may not finish putting before their opponent. The putt could only be conceded or had to be marked. Is this true? Thanks for all your marvelous information on rules.
Lou from Massachusetts

Dear Lou,

Match play takes order of play much more seriously than stroke play. While you see players putt continuously in stroke play, you will not (should not) see this in match play.

In match play, if your putt is not conceded, you should mark your ball and wait your turn. It is not against the Rules if you putt out of turn, but if you do, your opponent has the right to recall your stroke, in which case you would have to replace your ball or marker and wait your turn [Rule 10-1c].

Match play is a different game from stroke play, and has different strategies. As a player, if your opponent does not concede your next putt, you should immediately mark it. As an opponent, if you decide not to concede your opponent’s next putt, and he asks if he can finish, you should tell him to mark it. You want him to think hard about his next putt while you sink your 30-footer.

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