Monday, March 20, 2017

Ask Linda #1494-Marker ignores breach until end of round

Hi Linda,
In our Club Championship last week stroke play an incident happened to my friend and we have been having a discussion about it.

Player A was very upset with her putting and picked the ball up at the edge of the cup. They continued to play and at the end of the round her marker said she would not sign Player A’s scorecard as she had picked up her ball. I thought it should have been mentioned at the time when she picked the ball up that she was out of the competition. I believe that to allow her to continue until the end and then tell her was incorrectly handled. Of course, Player A DQ'd herself, but shouldn't one of the other three players have said something at the time and not wait until the end? The end result was DQ either way. What was the proper way to handle this? Tell her at the time or wait until the end of the round?

Some of my friends say it's the player's responsibility to call it on herself at the time and not the responsibility of the marker. I say the marker should have said something at the end of that hole and treat it the same as if the player said she had a 5 and it was really a 6. You always correct the score immediately...why not the breach of a rule?
Lulu from Boca Raton, Florida

Dear Lulu,

The player is responsible for knowing the Rules [Rule 6-1]. Since she failed to hole out, and teed off on the next hole without correcting her error, she is disqualified [Rule 3-2]. There is no question about the penalty to the player. The Rules are a little murkier regarding the player’s marker.

A marker, by Definition, is a person who has been appointed by the Committee to record a competitor’s score in stroke play. On completion of the hole the marker should check with the competitor for her score and record it [Rule 6-6a].

If the marker had signed the player’s scorecard at the end of the round, knowing that the player had breached a Rule and that her score was incorrect, the marker would be disqualified along with the player [Rule 1-3; Decision 1-3/6]. The player and her marker are both responsible for the correctness of the player’s scorecard.

Anyone accompanying this player who observed her failure to hole out and was aware that she was required to do so had the responsibility to tell the player so that she could correct her mistake and avoid disqualification. If the Committee reviews the facts and finds that the marker or any of the fellow competitors withheld information that caused the player to be disqualified, it would be appropriate to impose a penalty of disqualification under Rule 33-7 on any or all of them [Decision 33-7/9].

No one should ever fail to inform a competitor that she has breached a Rule. It is not a kindness to withhold such information, and can result in serious penalties for all involved. If someone had stepped up and told Player A, after she picked up her ball, that she was required to hole out, Player A could have replaced the ball, holed out, added a one-stroke penalty to her score (the penalty under Rule 18-2 for lifting her ball in play), and remained in the competition. Who would not want to save a player from disqualification?

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