Since December 14th, my many readers know that if a ball is accidently moved on the green, the player must replace the ball and there is no penalty. This local rule is included in Golf Quebec local rules and also on the PGA Tour since January 1st, 2017. All the players were informed of that new local rule.
At the Dell WGC Match Play Championship 2 weeks ago, a player was penalised because he did not know the rule. Tyrrell Hatton, who lives in England does not subscribe to Martial Lapointe’s blog and did not read the different letters received by the different golfing organisations.
Here are the facts:
After a birdie attempt, Hatton had a putt of a few inches to secure a par. When he positionned his putter near the ball he accidently moved the ball, did not replace the ball and made his next stroke in the hole. He played from the wrong place and his 4 became a 6 after the rules official gave him a penalty of 2 strokes. Because he was in a 3 players playoff, he was eliminated because the 2 other players played 4 on that hole. If he had replaced the ball, he would not have been penalised for accidently moving his ball at rest on the putting green and would have continued play.
He lost at least 40 000$!
Playing from a wrong place (Rule 20-7)
If a player make a stroke at his ball in play in a wrong place he loses the hole in Match Play or gets a penalty of 2 strokes in Stroke Play. In this case, why did the rules official gave him a penalty of 2 strokes?
In case of a tie after the preliminary round, if more than 2 players were in the playoff, the rules of Stroke Play would be in effect.
WHAT TO REMEMBER: Competitors must know the most basic rules of golf when they make a living out of a sport. Maybe subscribe to this blog might help!