Monday, October 31, 2016

Ask Linda #1411-Player prefers provisional and does not ID possible original

Hi Linda,
Recently whilst playing a par 3 a fellow player pushed his tee shot to the right into a wooded area of trees and no one saw the ball land. The player stated he would take a provisional, which he promptly put 2 inches from the pin.

Upon approaching the green, a fellow competitor spotted a ball in the right-hand bushes and shouted: “Hey, I think that’s your ball.” The player who played the provisional stated: “I don’t want it identified and I’m happy with my provisional.”

My question is: Is the player who played the provisional ball compelled to identify the ball that another person thinks may be the original ball played from the tee, or can he refuse to identify it and carry on with the provisional?

Lou from Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Dear Lou,

The player must inspect the ball that was found. If it is his original ball, he must abandon the provisional and continue play with the original [Decision 27-2c/2].

If the ball that was found is indeed the player’s ball, and the player continues play with the provisional, he has played a wrong ball and will incur a loss of hole/two-stroke penalty under Rule 15-3. In stroke play, if he does not correct his mistake before teeing off on the next hole, he is disqualified.

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