Rules to Play By Rules Judge Ray

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: In a new twist, 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 Ed from San Angelo, Texas:
Here is the situation: we are playing two-man, low-ball match play. My partner is 30 feet from the hole putting for birdie; I am on the same line 20 feet putting for bogey. Our competitor swats my ball away so I won't show the line to my partner. I tell him I want to putt the ball. He says I can't since the putt was conceded.
What's the rule?

Hopefully I can help you with your situation. First of all, your opponent was right. In this situation, once he conceded your putt, you were not allowed to putt your golf ball. As a player who believes he is right, you want me to prove it to you. You are going to want to see it in writing. I am going to walk you through the process of finding the correct answers. Let me show you where I found the answer to your question.
In your question you said you were playing two-man low ball match play. The correct terminology would be Four-Ball. Four-Ball is a match in which two play their better ball against the better ball of two other players. You wont be able to find any rulings on two-man low ball, but you will be able to find a lot of information about Four-Ball in Rule #30. Rule #30 deals with Three-Ball, Best Ball, and Four-Ball Match Play. Unfortunately, you wont find the answer there.
Now that we know the form of play, the first thing we have to deal with is the concession of your putt. When your opponent conceded your putt and knocked your ball away, he was totally within the rules. Under rule #2, Match Play, rule 2-4 states a player may concede his opponents next stroke at any time provided the opponents ball is at rest. It also says a concession may not be declined or withdrawn. Right now, he conceded your putt and you are forced to accept the concession.
But you still want to putt your golf ball. If we were playing singles match play, you would be allowed to putt your ball. But we are playing four-ball so it against the rules. Decision 2-4/6 in the Decisions on the Rules of Golf gives us the answer. A player incurs no penalty for holing out after a concession. However, if the act would be assistance to a partner in a four-ball or best-ball match, the partner is, in equity, disqualified for the hole. This is the situation you are in, if you put your golf ball back down and putt it, you would be assisting your partner. Now you still have your bogey, and your partner is disqualified from the hole.
I know this is not the answer you were hoping for, but it is right there in black and white. If you putt your ball after the concession your team will be penalized. Remember, it is only a penalty in four-ball or best-ball when you are assisting your partner. When you are playing singles, you are permitted to putt out after a concession.
Email your on-course rules dispute to Rules Judge Ray
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Lyle birdies last hole in likely his final Open start

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 4:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – If this was Sandy Lyle’s final Open appearance, he went out in style.

Playing on the final year of his automatic age exemption, the 60-year-old Scot buried a 30-foot birdie on the last hole. He missed the cut after shooting 9-over 151 over two rounds.

“I was very light-footed,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th. To make birdie was extra special.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Lyle, who also won the 1988 Masters, has missed the cut in his last eight majors, dating to 2014. He hasn’t been competitive in The Open since 1998, when he tied for 19th.

To continue playing in The Open, Lyle needed to finish in the top 10 here at Carnoustie. He’d earn a future exemption by winning the Senior British Open.

“More punishment,” he said.

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DJ, Thomas miss cut at Open; No. 1 up for grabs

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The top two players in the world both missed the cut at The Open, creating the possibility of a shakeup at the top of the rankings by the end of the weekend.

Dustin Johnson became the first world No. 1 since Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the year’s third major.

Johnson played solidly for all but the closing stretch. Over two rounds, he was 6 over par on the last three holes. He finished at 6-over 148.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Thomas added to what’s been a surprisingly poor Open record. Just like last year, when he struggled in the second round in the rain at Royal Birkdale, Thomas slumped to a 77 on Friday at Carnoustie, a round that included three consecutive double bogeys on Nos. 6-8. He finished at 4-over 146.

It’s Thomas' first missed cut since The Open last year. Indeed, in three Open appearances, he has two missed cuts and a tie for 53rd.  

With Johnson and Thomas out of the mix, the No. 1 spot in the rankings is up for grabs this weekend.

Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all can reach No. 1 with a victory this week.

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TT Postscript: Woods (71) makes cut, has work to do

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 3:32 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods shot a second consecutive even-par 71 Friday in the second round. And yes, he made the cut:

• Tiger said all 71s are not created equal. On Thursday, he made three birdies and three bogeys. On Friday, he made four birdie and four bogeys. Which round was better? The first. His theory is that, despite the rain, conditions were easier in the second round and there were more scoring opportunities. He didn't take advantage.

• This is the first time since the 2013 Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes that Tiger shot par or better in each of the first two rounds of a major. That’s quite a long time ago.

• Stat line for the day: 11 of 15 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 32 total putts. Tiger hit one driver and two 3-woods on Thursday and four drivers on Friday, only one which found the fairway. An errant drive at the second led to him sniping his next shot into the gallery


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• In his own words: “I could have cleaned up the round just a little bit. I got off to not exactly the best start, being 2 over through three, but got it back. The golf course was a little bit softer today, obviously. It rains, and we were able to get the ball down a little bit further, control the ball on the ground a little bit easier today, which was nice.”

• At some point Tiger is going to have to be more aggressive. He will be quite a few shots off the lead by day’s end and he'll have a lot of ground to make up. Hitting irons off the tee is great for position golf, but it’s often leaving him more than 200 yards into the green. Not exactly a range for easy birdies.

• Sure, it’s too soon to say Tiger can’t win a fourth claret jug, but with so many big names ahead of him on the leaderboard, it’s unlikely. Keep in mind that a top-six finish would guarantee him a spot in the WGC: Bridgestone Invitational in two weeks. At The Players, he stated that this was a big goal.

• My Twitter account got suspended momentarily when Tiger was standing over a birdie putt on the 17th green. That was the most panicked I’ve been since Tiger was in contention at the Valspar.

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Woods fires shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

“I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.