Some of you saw the BMW Championship last week and here is an explanation of the ruling given to Garcia.
– a movable obstruction can be removed in a water hazard without penalty;
– no free relief is available for an immovable obstruction when a ball lies in the water hazard;
– a free relief is possible only for a TEMPORARY immovable obstruction but the nearest point of relief must be in the hazard.
Why did Sergio was granted a free relief?
When a Committee puts in place tents, grand stands or crowd control fences, these are considered TEMPORARY immovable obstructions (TIO). A player may receive a free relief even for his line of flight.
Why did it take so much time ?
Garcia did not have a shot toward the green, his best option was to hit the ball toward the grand stand or a rock in another direction. For that shot, he had interference for his swing. He had to convince the rules official that this direction was reasonable.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 17, 2017
On the PGA Tour, rules officials always consult the head Rules Official before giving any substantial ruling. This took a lot of time to accept the unusual direction of play.
When the nearest point of relief was determined, Garcia dropped twice and the ball came closer to the hole. He then had to place the ball.
The player may change direction of play after the relief.
I don’t want to say anything against my colleague. Is 20 minutes reasonable for a ruling? I say NO…….Some of my fellow rules officials would have a problem as referees in a hockey game!
OTHER TOPIC…..ON A LIGHTER NOTE
Yes it is permitted to use a wedge on a putting green. Leishman used his putter on a green in the same tournament. Unless your life depends on it, please don’t do it in your next game.