Sunday, 13 March 2011

Rory Sabbatini Tees Off While His Fellow Competitors Putt Out

Winds destroy 18th hole scoreboard at Doral's Blue Monster. photo @golfchronicles

There was an unusual situation at the rain interrupted first day of the TPC Blue Monster at Doral last Thursday. Rory Sabbatini, Zach Johnson and Geoff Ogilvy were nearing the end of their round when they learned that play was likely to be suspended for the day, as the worsening weather conditions were making it increasingly difficult for the players still on the course. On their 17th hole Zach Johnson suggested to the other two that they should do whatever possible to finish their round. They agreed that whoever finished the hole first would race to the tee at the par-3 ninth (their finishing hole) and tee-off.

They were obviously aware that Rule 6-8b states;
When play is suspended by the Committee, if the players in a match or group are between the play of two holes, they must not resume play until the Committee has ordered a resumption of play. If they have started play of a hole, they may discontinue play immediately or continue play of the hole, provided they do so without delay. If the players choose to continue play of the hole, they are permitted to discontinue play before completing it. In any case, play must be discontinued after the hole is completed.
It was agreed that whoever hit it closest at the eighth hole would finish out first and race to the ninth tee and hit, so as to start play of the hole before the horn signaling the suspension of  play was blown. Sabbatini was closest and after putting out for a birdie ran to the 9th. He had a rules official ride ahead to ask the group putting out on the ninth (Charley Hoffman, Aaron Baddeley and D.A. Points) if they minded Sabbatini teeing off while they were still on the Par-3 putting green. The forward group assented and stood back. The rules official told Sabbatini he needed to hurry and he was right; his tee shot was still in the air when the horn sounded. After the Sabbatini group finished their round they were quick to thank the three ahead for their understanding and generousity for standing aside while Sabbatini made his tee shot.

Could there have been any suggestion that the group should have been penalised for agreeing to play out of turn when Sabatini putted out on their penultimate hole from a point nearer the hole that his fellow competitors? The answer is No, there is no penalty for playing out of turn in stroke play, unless it has been agreed in order to give one of them an advantage. Rule 10-2c states;
If a competitor plays out of turn, there is no penalty and the ball is played as it lies. If, however, the Committee determines that competitors have agreed to play out of turn to give one of them an advantage, they are disqualified.
This was obviously not the case at Doral, where through a good knowledge of the Rules and some quick thinking Messrs. Sabattini, Johnson and Ogilvy were able to finish their Thursday round and give themselves an extra four hours of sleep on Friday morning.

Good Golfing

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Hook said...

got caught with this one last week

Davo said...

great review, keep up the good work