Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ask Linda #1669-Play provisional after original found

Hello Linda,
We had a situation today that went as follows:

A player in our group had to hit a provisional. We looked for the lost ball and the player said she ABANDONS her ball. As she was walking back to her provisional, another member in the group found the original ball. 

The player who lost the ball thought she could play her provisional, as she abandoned what she thought was her first “lost” ball.

I just want clarification on this, as Rule 27-2c states that if the original ball is neither lost nor out of bounds, then it must be played. However, if she struck her provisional after stating she abandoned her original shot, before the lost ball was found, then she was OK to play the provisional.

Thanks for your interpretation on this.
Lulu from Burbank, California

Dear Lulu,

If the player’s original ball is found within five minutes of beginning search, she must abandon the provisional ball and continue play with the original ball [Rule 27-2c]. Under this circumstance, if she plays the provisional ball, she has played a wrong ball and the provisions of Rule 15-3 (Wrong Ball) apply.

If the player hits her provisional before the original is found, it becomes her ball in play only if the provisional is played from the area where the original ball is likely to be or from a spot closer to the hole than that area [Rule 27-2b].

A ball is not lost by virtue of the player declaring it lost. As the expression goes, “saying doesn’t make it so.” A ball is deemed “lost” when it meets one of the five requirements under the Definition of “Lost Ball.” Please take a moment to read that very important Definition.

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