Rules to Play By An Honest Mistake

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 8, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editor's note: Ray Herzog, a rules expert from the San Diego Golf Academy in Orlando, Fla., will be presiding over cases presented by you the reader. Please submit your on-course dispute and let Rules Judge Ray settle it.
Case presented by David Bohn:
My opponent and I are playing match play. Once on the green, I make my putt for double bogey and my opponent is laying a mere 6 feet from the hole. I ask him 'what's that for' (meaning his remaining putt) and he says 'par.' Figuring he will at worst two-putt, I concede the putt (and the hole) to him. Then, as we are walking to the next hole, I start re-thinking his play on the preceding hole, and, after re-counting in my head, say to him: 'I think that putt was actually for bogey, not par.' We then proceed to talk through his shots on the previous hole, and he concludes I was correct - it was for bogey. I therefore had conceded a very questionable putt to (lose) the hole - based on his mis-information. I think he made an honest mistake, but nonetheless ... What should we have done?
The answer to your question can be found in Rule No. 9 ' Information as to Strokes Taken. If you look up rule 9-2b (ii) it states:
A player is deemed to have given wrong information if he gives incorrect information during play of a hole regarding the number of strokes taken and does not correct the mistake before his opponent makes his next stroke.
As soon as you conceded your opponent his next stroke and he picked the ball up, your opponent basically played his next stroke. Since he did not correct his error in time, he loses the hole. You should have awarded yourself the hole and adjusted the score of the match at that time.
The same would be true if you realized the mistake a few holes later. When an opponent gives wrong information and does not correct the mistake in time, it is a loss of hole penalty. It is a shame that it was an honest mistake, but most rules infractions are.
-- Ray
Case presented by Joe Orlando:
In a four ball match, (my) partner is out of the hole and I am putting for par from 18 feet. (My) ball stops and hangs on the lip. I slowly begin to walk to the ball, which I believe may still fall in the cup. Well before ten seconds expires, my opponent knocks my ball away and concedes the next putt. It is my position that he acted in violation of the rules and that my play was not concluded. Did he violate the rules? And, if so, what is the penalty?
In the Decisions on The Rules of Golf, 16-2/2 is almost exactly like your question. It basically asks if your opponent was entitled to knock your ball away. The answer in the book states:
No. Under rule 16-2, you are allowed a reasonable time to reach the hole and an additional 10 seconds to determine whether your ball is at rest. Since your opponent infringed on your rights, he was in breach of Rule 1-2 (Exerting Influence on Ball) and loses the hole.
You were correct when you thought his act was a violation of the rules.
Thanks for the questions,
Email your on-course rules dispute to Rules Judge Ray
Getty Images

Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

Getty Images

Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

Getty Images

Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

Getty Images

Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.