At last, a lighter topic than the last 2-3 weeks! If you watched the last Masters, you saw Sergio’s ball in a very bad position on hole # 13. This could have triggered the next World War if the rules officials had ruled a 2 strokes penalty to Sergio. A few seconds and the phones and emails started to arrive at the Tournament office. All of this had an happy ending and Sergio won his first Major but I still think the Player’s championship is a Major and Sergio won that tournament in 2008.
Many spectators thought the ball was in a lateral water hazard (red line and stakes). We could easily see on television that the small creek was the Water hazard and not the area where the ball was sitting.
We may take relief from an unplayable lie if the ball is not in a water hazard. Sergio took the option of dropping the ball less than 2 club-length from the original spot. He could have returned to the tee or drop a ball behind the point where the ball lay, keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot.
If we remove loose impediments in a hazard, we will have a penalty of 2 strokes. Because the ball was not in the hazard, Sergio could remove all the loose impediments he wanted but the ball must not move.
Did the ball move?
A couch potato referee, was probably eating many chicken wings and a few 6-parcks of beer, called the CBS Network because he saw the ball move. The rules official, look at the video and ruled right away that everything was fine… for a moment I had a few beads of sweat.
THINGS TO KNOW
- We may declare a ball unplayable everywhere on the course except in a water hazard
- We may remove loose impediment everywhere on the course except in a water hazard and a bunker. 2-Strokes penalty if we move a loose impediment in a Hazard.
- In an area where we may move an impediment, If the ball moves, we must replace the ball with a 1-stroke penalty
- If the ball moves and we don’t replace the ball, we must add a 2-stroke penalty.
- In a hazard, if we remove a loose impediment, and the removal causes the ball to move, we have a 2-strokes penalty if we replace the ball and or a 4 strokes penalty if we don’t replace the ball.