Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ask Linda #1580-Player’s putt after concession aids partner

Dear Linda,
We were in a four-ball (better ball) match play game today.

On a par 4, my partner had a shot against the lowest handicap player and the other two didn't. She chipped her third shot to very close and was conceded a 4, net 3.

One opponent had a putt of 20 feet or so for a birdie to halve. Her partner had already played 3 so could not halve the hole, but his ball was on the same line as his partner's, 3 feet or so closer to the hole. He chose to putt first, as it would help her with the line. He missed and so did she so we won the hole. But I argued, for future reference, that he was not entitled to putt and show her the line as he was not “in the hole” any longer; we hadn't seen the need to concede his putt, but it was irrelevant to the outcome as he couldn't get a half.

Am I right in thinking he was not entitled to take his putt before hers in this case? Or was it necessary for us to formally concede his putt to prevent him putting, even though his score was irrelevant?
Lou from SW France

Dear Lou,

Since you did not concede your opponent’s putt, he was entitled to putt before his partner and show her the line. If you had conceded the putt, and the player had putted after the concession and before his partner tried her putt, the player’s partner would be disqualified for the hole [Decision 2-4/6]. There is no penalty for holing out after a concession unless the act would be of assistance to the player’s partner.

The next time this situation occurs, immediately concede the putt that will have no effect on the outcome of the hole. I would suggest you go one step further and pick up the conceded ball and hand it to your opponent. Why get embroiled in an argument about disqualifying the player’s partner (should he putt after the concession) when the simple act of lifting the ball will prevent a possible subsequent rules violation and some hard feelings?

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