Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Ask Linda #1425-Hit several shots with wrong ball
Two players tee off and both hit their balls into a fairway bunker. Both players play their second shots into the fairway, their third shots close to the green and then chip onto the putting surface. At this point, they mark and clean their balls and realize that they have hit each other’s ball. OK, Rule 15-3b, two-stroke penalty and must correct.
However, since the balls were in the same general location for shots two, three and four, they are not exactly certain when they hit the wrong ball. It’s possible the breach occurred in the fairway bunker for shot two, in the fairway for shot three, or close to the green for the chip shot. What is the ruling?
Lou from California
The players would have to return to the bunker, since that was the first place they might have hit the wrong ball. They would count the tee shot, and the two-stroke penalty for hitting a wrong ball out of the bunker, but none of the shots they hit with the wrong ball [Rule 15-3b]. When they return to the bunker the second time they will each be hitting their fourth shot on the hole. Each player must re-create the original lie in the bunker and place the ball in that lie [Rules 15-3b and 20-3b (iii)].
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