This humorous Rules incident occurred during the BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club last week. Larrazabal's 3rd stroke to the 18th green lodged between the legs of a spectator, who is an outside agent in the Rules of Golf. Of course, most of us would have let the ball fall to the ground, but not this stoic character, who stood there with the ball clenched between his legs until the player reached him. Ignoring all the obvious puns, how does the player proceed in this sitaution and under which Rule? Rule 19-1a states;
If a player’s ball in motion is accidentally deflected or stopped by any outside agency, it is a rub of the green, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, except:So, Pablo Larrazabal had to retrieve his ball (very carefully!) from between the spectator's legs, ask him to move aside and then drop it as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where it had been retrieved from.
a. If a player’s ball in motion after a stroke other than on the putting green comes to rest in or on any moving or animate outside agency, the ball must through the green or in a hazard be dropped, or on the putting green be placed, as near as possible to the spot directly under the place where the ball came to rest in or on the outside agency, but not nearer the hole....
I cannot leave the subject of the BMW PGA Championship without adding my congratulations to Rory McIlroy, who proved that some top players can concentrate their minds on their golf game, no matter what external pressure they may be experiencing. Congratulations also to Shane Lowry, from Co. Offaly in Ireland's midlands, who was one stroke behind Rory, in second place. As someone who has lived in Ireland for the past 37 years, I completely agree with these sentiments, copied from Shane's personal web site;
“Ireland is a place that welcomes you in without even trying. Maybe it’s our social nature or the amazing scenery or the buzz of simply going for a pint. Maybe it’s the craic, that indefinable feeling that embodies Irish fun. Whatever it is, and despite all the rain, I’m proud to be from one of the most beautiful places on earth.”If any readers are planning a golfing trip to Ireland and will be passing through Dublin, please let me know, as it would be my pleasure to meet with you, if it can easily be arranged.
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