Monday, March 27, 2017

Ask Linda #1499-Leave ball in position to assist partner in match play

I have a supplementary question about marking and lifting balls on the green in match play. 

I am typing here an extract from one of your earlier answers.

…in match play, there may be some strategy involved in not asking a player to mark and lift their ball on the green. Suppose, for example, that you have a downhill putt, and your opponent’s ball is lying behind the hole where it could serve as a backstop for your ball if you putt it too hard. The Rules state that you may lift your ball if you think it might assist another player (Rule 22-1). Note that there is a world of difference between “may” and “must.” If your opponent is showing no inclination to mark and lift their ball, take advantage of the situation and go ahead and putt.

The question is may your partner in four-ball match play deliberately leave their ball in place to assist you?

Many thanks as ever,
Lou from West Wickham, England 

Dear Lou,

Yes, but it’s a foolish opponent who notices that your ball is in position to assist your partner and doesn’t tell you to mark and lift your ball. He has that right under Rule 22-1b, and he should exercise it.

If your opponent asks you to lift a ball that might assist your partner and you refuse to do so, both you and your partner are disqualified from the hole [Decision 30-3f/11].

The ruling is not the same in stroke play, where competitors who agree to not lift a ball that might assist any competitor are disqualified from the competition.

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