Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ask Linda #1399-Players agree to not mark ball

Dear Linda,

Recently, at our club in Iowa, we had an annual sole survivor tournament. The tournament starts out with 10 golfers. One player is eliminated on a hole, over 9 holes of play, either by their gross score or, in the event of a tie, a putt-off or chip-off (putt-offs on odd holes and chip-offs on even holes). On the 7th green, with four competitors left, a ball was close to the hole and another player who was chipping asked that the ball not be marked. I thought it was wrong of the player who was chipping to ask to leave that ball unmarked. Checking Rule 22-1, it seems that both the player chipping (who asked not to mark a ball) and the player who honored his request and didn't mark his ball were in violation and should have been disqualified. I realize if he didn't ask the player not to mark his ball (since he was off the green) and just went ahead and advanced his ball before the player had a chance to mark his ball, this would have been no violation. Was I right? Thank you.
Lou from Grinnell, Iowa

Dear Lou,

This would be a matter for the Committee to decide. If it discovers that both players agreed to not lift the ball because it would assist the player who was about to chip, both players would be disqualified under Rule 22-1. Both players would have to be interviewed to determine their motivation. It is possible that the fellow chipping simply wanted to get on with his play and did not want to wait for the other player to mark. Disqualification is a serious game-changer. A Committee would need to be absolutely certain of what happened and why before imposing such a severe penalty.

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