Friday, August 11, 2017

Ask Linda #1593-Player in match remembers earlier violation

Hi Linda,
I would be grateful for your expert opinion on the following scenario.

We were playing an inter-club match. Four-ball match play

Walking off the 16th Green we were 2-up with 2 to play. Dormie.

On the 17th, I was out of the hole (having taken too many strokes) and raking the bunker. The other players played their respective putts and we secured a half and a win, 2 & 1. Handshakes all round and congratulated each other on the golf we had played and a great afternoon.

We played the 18th, a par 3. Two of us were on the green and the other two just off on the fringe. We were on the green when it was at this point my partner (a man who is one of life's gentlemen a very honest and honourable person) declared he had just realised that he had made an error on the last green by moving his ball marker to allow one of our opponents to putt and he had not replaced the marker and therefore had putted from a wrong place.
Straightforward loss-of-hole penalty.

Our opponents very graciously stated that the result of the hole could stand as neither of them had realised he had putted from the wrong place.

It was then that I stepped in and stated we could all be in breach of Rule 1-3, Agreement to Waive a Rule of Golf, and we should readjust the score to 1-up with one to play and play the balls on the 18th as they lie, which is what we did. A half was made so we adjusted the score to a win 1-up.

My question is: Did we act correctly and did we get the score for the match correct?

I would be grateful for your expert advice.
Thank you.
Lou from Skegness, UK

Dear Lou,

Yes to both of your questions – your procedure and score (1-up) were correct. Congratulations all around for good sportsmanship and good sense.

Your partner was disqualified from the 17th hole when he played from the wrong place [Rules 20-3a and 20-7b]. The status of the match must be corrected, even if the discovery is made at a subsequent hole [Decision 9-2/9].

However, if the result of the match had been officially announced (e.g., the four of you had submitted your score to the team captain, who dutifully recorded it on the scoresheet), the score would have stood at 2 and 1 [Rule 2-5]. In that case, a claim would not be considered because the player (your partner) did not knowingly give wrong information and the facts were known to your opponents (they had the opportunity to observe the infraction).

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