I don’t often put rules number in my articles but I will make an exception this week.
….IN STROKE PLAY, IF THE COMMITTEE DETERMINES THAT COMPETITORS HAVE AGREED NOT TO LIFT A BALL THAT MIGHT ASSIST ANY COMPETITOR, THEY ARE DISQUALIFIED.
In many tweets, Scott Walker said he often does not mark his ball in order to help a competitor. If he is friend with him it is even more frequent. If he does not like a competitor, he will make sure to mark the ball before he plays his shot.
UNSPOKEN RULE ON THE PGA TOUR
When the marking of your ball may delay the play of a competitor, the players don’t mark their ball. The rule does not permit that but it is the first time a player says publicly that he does not follow the rule.
I my work as a rules official, it happens some times that I see a kind of breach of that rule but it is difficult to prove the breach. So I close my eyes.
In one of a Champions Tour tournament I was working, I summited the case to the rules Committee and they told be it was not provable. No follow ups occurred.
OTHER PLAYERS OPINIONS
Lee Westwood and Luke Donald were very surprised by these tweets because they said that they always try to protect the field and they sometimes stop a player from making his shot in order to mark the ball.
It is possible that this controversy will die because the PGA Tour does not like this kind of publicity.