While working a stroke play tournament this summer I was called over by a player to make a ruling. At a par – 4 hole, Player A hit his second shot into a dense thicket behind the green. Since the ball may be lost, Player A announced that he was going to hit a provisional ball. The provisional ball came to rest near the hole. One of his fellow competitiors went forward to search for Player A’s original ball. Player A decided that he was not going forth to search for his original ball and approched his provisional ball.
As he is nearing his provisional ball, his fellow competitor tells him he believes that he has found his original ball and that he needed to come over and identify the ball as his original ball. Player A refused and said he was going to play his provisional ball.
The fellow competitor spotted me and called me over. He explained what had happened. I went over to Player A and explained to him that one of his fellow competitors may have found the original ball and that he needed to identify the ball. The player steadfastly refused to do so saying ” I have no intention of searching for or identifying such a lousy shot” and that he was going to play his provisional ball.
I then explained to Player A that under Rule 27 Ball Lost or Out of Bounds: Provisional Ball, that he must inspect the ball that had been found and, if it was his original ball, he must continue play with it or proceed under Rule 28 Ball Unplayable. I also explained that if he refused to comply with my ruling I would be justified in imposing a penalty of disqualification for his refusal to comply with a Rule.
Needless to say, he did not want to be disqualified and so he identified the ball as his and proceeded under Rule 28 Ball Unplayable.
If you have any questions, comments or you seek information on any of the Rules of Golf please contact me at Mike Fay Golf.
Frank Guastella, PGA Rules Official Michigan Section PGA
Staff Writer, Mike Fay Golf
If you have a question for Frank here’s where you can contact him.
To “follow” Frank on Twitter click here
To “like” Frank on Facebook click here
This Rule is invariably confused with Rule 27.1 a – Stroke & Distance- whereby a player may at any time play a ball from as near to the spot from where the original ball was played, under penalty of one stroke, ie proceed under Stroke & Distance. In this case if the player had not declared the second ball as a provisional ball, this second ball would then be the ball in play and he would not be required to look for the original.