The first tournament of the calendar year is always in Hawaii and it is open only to the 2018 season winners. Even if the official 2019 season started in October 2018, the new rules are only in effect since January 1st, 2019. We already have some rulings based on those new rules.
Webb Simpson – Ball at rest moved by the player
Simpson was searching for his ball in heavy rough. He was in a hurry because he had only 3 minutes to find his ball before it became lost. By accident he stepped on the ball and it moved a few inches. Since January 1st, a player is not penalized if he accidently moves his ball while he is searching for it. But he must replace the ball.
Bryson DeChambeau – Keeping the flag in the hole
Many of you watched the event on television and you all saw DeChambeau leaving the pin in the hole. It is now possible, and we might see more players do that in the next tournaments. Some players avec doubts concerning the advantage of leaving the pin in the hole.
Lucy Li – Amateur status (not a new rule)
Lucy Li is an amateur player. She is 9th in the World Amateur Ranking and she is under investigation for a breach of the Amateur Status. The USGA is looking into the fact that she is paid money to have her picture used by Apple Watch…. I will talk about the amateur status in a later article.
DJ received a penalty for playing a wrong ball and this is not a new rule.
- DJ sends his ball in a penalty area (red stakes)
- The forecaddie puts a small flag on the ground near the ball
- DJ arrives on the spot, sees the flag and sees the Taylor Made logo on the ball
- He makes a stoke at the ball
- He finds out later that was not his ball
- Anywhere on the course the player must make sure he is playing his ball
- If he needs to identify it, he must mark the ball and he may turn it or pick it up
- The penalty for playing a wrong ball is 2 strokes
- The player must correct the mistake
- Even if the forecaddie or the marshal says it is his ball, the responsibility is always on the player’s shoulders.