Rules to Play By 4 Things to Know
If, during play, lead tape from, in this case a driver/or putter, becomes dislodged or accidentally removed, (I AM aware that you cannot replace with fresh tape), BUT if you leave the club as is (less the original tape) can the club be legally continued to be played with for the balance of the round? OR must you declare the club non-conforming from that point to rounds end and not use at all, avoiding penalty or DQ? -- Jeff Kirkland, Mt. Pleasant, SC
The answer to your question about lead tape being removed from the golf club during play can be found in Rule No. 4 (Clubs). 4-2 deals with Playing Characteristics Changed and Foreign Material. The first question a rules official would ask you is: How was the tape removed from the club? The answer they would want to hear is: In normal course of play.
If the tape falls off during a practice swing or a stroke at your golf ball, you are allowed to do one of two things. You can use the club in its damaged state for the remainder of the round or restore the club to its previous condition. When restoring the club, you can try to re-apply the tape that fell off or apply new tape. If you are using new tape, every effort should be made to restore the club, as nearly as possible, to its previous condition.
If the tape is removed other than in normal course of play, the club may not be used for the remainder of the round. The penalty for using the club again during the round would be disqualification.
Everyone thinks you cannot apply new tape to the club during the round. If you need to see it in writing, the answer can be found in The Decisions on The Rules of Golf, 4-2/0.5.
I had a long putt and had one of the foursome attend the stick. As the ball approached the hole he pulled the flagstick. The stick stuck to the cup and he ended up raising the cup itself above the putting surface. My ball hit the cup and remained within a tap-in away. It would have obviously (gone) in. We werent sure what the call was. I just played the shot from where it ended up and considered it a two putt. Whats the call? -- Art Williams
It is amazing how many people have asked me the exact same question you have. The rule book defines the hole-liner as an outside agency. So in this case, a ball in motion was deflected or stopped by an outside agency. If you look in your rule book under 19-1, it will tell you to play the ball as it lies when this happens. Congratulations, Art; you made the correct ruling.
You might have been upset with the person attending the flagstick that day because he cost you a stroke, but in reality he might have saved you one. If the flagstick was stuck in the hole and the hole-liner did not come out of the hole, your putt would have struck the flagstick. The penalty for striking an attended flagstick is two strokes. So in the long run, it all depends on if you are a glass half full or glass half empty guy; either way you made the correct call.
A member of my club changes balls between holes. He'll play a performance ball (Pro V1) on par 3s and then switch to a distance ball (Noodle) on par 5s and long par 4s. He says you can change a ball during a hole if it's damaged (scuffed) and anytime between holes. (i.e. after finishing one and before starting the next). Is this true? Seems unfair (yes, he usually takes my $$$). -- Mark, Honolulu, Hawaii
There are two separate questions that I would like to answer for you:
1. Can you change types of golf balls between holes?
The answer is yes. He is allowed to change types of golf balls. The only time you cannot do this is when the One Ball Condition is in effect. The One Ball condition can be found in the back of the rule book in Appendix 1. PGA TOUR events use the one ball rule; most country clubs do no apply this condition. He is not breaking any rules yet.
2. Can you change a ball during a hole if its damaged?
The term you used in your question was scuffed. If your friends golf ball is scuffed because he keeps bouncing it off of the cart path, it is not considered damaged. Rule 5-3 deals with a ball unfit for play. It states:
A ball is unfit for play if it is visibly cut, cracked, or out of shape. A ball is not unfit for play if its surface is scratched or scraped
Since your friends ball was just scuffed, he cannot take it out of play during play of the hole; he has to wait until he holes out. Mark, I did noticed you live in Honolulu, so if you need me to come out and explain this rule to your buddy in person, I am an email away.
This ruling has bothered me for a long time. Quite a few years back (Craig Stadler) was disqualified for putting a handkerchief down when he had to hit out from under a tree. He did not want to get his pants dirty. They said that he was building a stance. My question is when a player takes off his shoes and socks isnt he also building a stance? -- Rich Patrick
Rule 13-3 deals with Building a Stance. I think everyone who saw Craig Stadler get a two-stroke penalty for kneeling on the towel agrees with you. That ruling seemed to be unfair. Would it be fair for me to back my golf cart under a tree limb, stand on the bumper, and try to hit my ball that was stuck in a branch, probably not. The rule book defines a towel as equipment just like my golf cart. So when Craig knelt on the towel, it was like me standing on the bumper. We both were building a stance.
The last part of your question referred to taking off your shoes and socks as building a stance. That is a question I have never heard before. I discussed it with some of my students in our advanced rules class this week and we decided that taking off your shoes and socks would actually be un-building a stance. There is nothing in the rule book that prohibits you from un-building a stance.
Thank you for your questions,
Email your Rules of Golf questions to Ray
Schauffele just fine being the underdog
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.
Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.
Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.
“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”
Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.
“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”
Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1
Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.
So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.
Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.
Jordan Spieth: 7/4
Xander Schauffele: 5/1
Kevin Kisner: 11/2
Tiger Woods: 14/1
Francesco Molinari: 14/1
Rory McIlroy: 14/1
Kevin Chappell: 20/1
Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1
Alex Noren: 25/1
Zach Johnson: 30/1
Justin Rose: 30/1
Matt Kuchar: 40/1
Webb Simpson: 50/1
Adam Scott: 80/1
Tony Finau: 80/1
Charley Hoffman: 100/1
Austin Cook: 100/1
Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.
For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.
By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.
But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.
As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.
“This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”
Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.
As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.
But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.
After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.
“I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”
But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.
Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.
“I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.
There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.
Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par.
And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.
As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.
“We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”
Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.
Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.
The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.
Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.
It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.
Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.
One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.
McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.
“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”
McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.
“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”