A very interesting ruling was made in Europe last week. A small bug made its way on the long list of incidents affecting the confidence is the simplification of the Rules of Golf in 2019.
Casey sent his putt in the hole. He is very happy and continues his round. Upon arriving at the scoring room, a referee tells him he might have breached a Rules of Golf and he has the proof on a video.
From the video we see that after the stroke from the green, the ball in motion was deflected by a very small bug crawling on the green.
The referee asked Casey if he saw the bug. Casey said he did not see any bugs deflecting his ball on that green.
What is the Rule?
R 11.1b: When ball played from Putting Green Accidently Hits Any person, Animal or Movable Obstruction on Putting Green, the stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot and replayed…
Casey did not replay the stroke. So, he should have been penalized for playing from the wrong place.
Rule 20.2c: If the facts shown on the video could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye, that video evidence will be disregarded even if it indicates a breach of the Rules.
Casey could not have seen the deflection with his naked eye. There would still be a penalty if the player knew of the deflection. It is obvious from the video that Casey could not have seen the deflection…. even with the video it is not easy to see.
No penalty was assed to Casey.
My comment: I don’t have a problem with that rule when the ball is deflected by a bird, a mouse or a human…. But an insect? I am afraid we are opening a huge door!