On April the 13th, during the RBC Heritage Classic, a particular incident happened to Kelly Kraft.
On a Par 3, his ball was deflected in the air by a bird and the ball went in the water hazard, costing him a double bogey and he missed the cut.
Here are some basic rules applied when animals interfere in our game.
OTHER THAN ON THE PUTTING GREEN
If a ball in motion after a stroke (not on the green) is deflected par an outside agency, the ball must be played where it lies and there is no penalty.
DEFINITION OF OUTSIDE AGENCY : In Stroke Play, an outside agency is any agency other than the competitor’s side, any caddie of the side… or any equipment of the side.
Spectators, fellow competitors and animals are outside agencies.
Same thing for a ball deflected by a Rules official cart…
ON THE GREEN
If the stroke was made from the green and the ball is deflected by an outside agency, the stroke is cancelled and the player must replay the shot.
BALL AT REST MOVED BY AN ANIMAL
When the ball at rest is moved by an animal (outside agency), the ball must be replaced.
THESE ARE NOT OUTSIDE AGENCIES
- Wind and water
- Worms and insects
If they were considered outside agencies, we would have reasons to replay any missed putt because the ball was deflected by a fly or a small insect
Same logic with the wind, our missed putt could be caused by the wind.
I think this is not fair because if you are like me, all my missed putts are caused by something out of my control, not because of my lack of talent, and I should have the possibility to replay the shot… Don’t they do it in Tennis?