|The spectator points to where she thinks Luke Donald’s ball was at rest|
Before I answer this question, take a look at Golf Channels’ short video of the Luke Donald incident, by clicking here and then on the play button.
It is Rule 20-3 that deals with placing and replacing a ball. Replacing indicates that the ball must be placed on the exact spot from which it was lifted or moved. In many cases, as with the Luke Donald incident, this spot is not easy to accurately determine as the player may have been nowhere near their ball when it was moved. This is where Rule 20-3c comes into play;
If it is impossible to determine the spot where the ball is to be placed or replaced:
(i) through the green, the ball must be dropped as near as possible to the place where it lay but not in a hazard or on a putting green;
(ii) in a hazard, the ball must be dropped in the hazard as near as possible to the place where it lay;
(iii) on the putting green, the ball must be placed as near as possible to the place where it lay but not in a hazard.
Exception: When resuming play (Rule 6-8d), if the spot where the ball is to be placed is impossible to determine, it must be estimated and the ball placed on the estimated spot.
At least three wayward balls hit spectators during the final day’s play in Doral, Florida. It began with Tiger Wood’s first stroke of the day, which drew blood from a German tourist when the ball hit him squarely on the head. An apology, a signed glove and two holes later Tiger repeated the performance, costing him a second signed glove and apology. Bubba Watson waited until the end of his round before sending his approach shot into the 18th green amongst the spectators seated in the grandstand. My point for raising this matter is that apparently no-one shouted “Fore” on any of these three occasions; not Tiger, not Bubba, not their caddies, not the marshals and not even other spectators. And yet shouting “Fore” is a traditional warning (and courtesy) used by amateur golfers all over the world. I strongly recommend that all golfers continue to observe the etiquette of shouting this warning when they hit an errant shot, as there have been several legal cases around the world, where this has been a deciding factor in the resolution of liability.
If you don’t want to miss my weekly blog, enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe via email’ box at top right of the home page.
The above content is strictly copyright to Barry Rhodes © 2014 and may not be copied without permission.