In an article on the President’s Cup yesterday, I wrote that when Love picked up the ball, the penalty was technically one stroke, but that because he thought Weir said “its good,” no penalty was assessed.
Now, I’ve received a bunch of emails from people telling me that I don’t know the rules—that the penalty is loss of hole.
No. I do know the rules. And the penalty is one stroke, unless is was truly a mistake, in which case there is no penalty:
From the USGA rules book:
2-4/3 Player Lifts Ball in Mistaken Belief That Next Stroke Conceded
Q. In a match between A and B, B made a statement which A interpreted to mean that his (A’s) next stroke was conceded. Accordingly, A lifted his ball. B then said that he had not conceded A’s next stroke. What is the ruling?
A. If B’s statement could reasonably have led A to think his next stroke had been conceded, in equity (Rule 1-4) A should replace his ball as near as possible to where it lay, without penalty.
Otherwise, A would incur a penalty stroke for lifting his ball without marking its position — Rule 20-1 — and he must replace his ball as near as possible to where it lay.
The Golf Blogger is correct. Tom Meeks ruling on the course was correct.
My critics need to get their own copy of the rules.