Monday, June 12, 2017

Ask Linda #1550-Who may replace the ball?

In a foursome stroke play round, Player A's ball lies on the green. Before the player can reach the green, a fellow competitor, Player B, asks if she may mark Player A's ball. As Player A does not want to delay Player B from putting, she says yes and allows Player B to mark her ball. Player B then gives the ball to Player A and continues to putt. When Player A is ready to putt, she replaces her own ball.

In reading Rule 20-3, Player B, the fellow competitor, would be allowed to mark and lift Player A's ball on the green, but Player B must also replace Player A's ball. If Player A replaces her own ball, there is a one-stroke penalty–since Player B had marked & lifted the ball, Player B is required to replace the ball. Is this true?

Thank you
Lulu from British Columbia, Canada

Dear Lulu,

No. A ball that has been marked and lifted under the Rules may be replaced by the player, her partner, or the person who lifted it [Rule 20-3a, second paragraph, first sentence]. In your narrative, there are three players who would be permitted to replace the ball: Player A, Player A’s partner, and Player B (the fellow competitor who was given the authority to mark and lift Player A’s ball).

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