The reference to the extension of the stipulated round in match play in Rule 2-3 is quite obvious to those of us that play this format of the game;
If there is a tie, the Committee may extend the stipulated round by as many holes as are required for a match to be won.Note that the number of holes in a stipulated round is 18 or less, so a 36-hole match or competition consists of two separate rounds of 18 holes each.
Note that the Definition of Stipulated Round does not state when it starts and finishes. For that we need to go to the Decisions on the Rules. For example, Decision 2/2 clarifies the situation in match play;
In all forms of match play other than threesomes and foursomes, a player has begun his stipulated round when he makes his first stroke in that round. In threesomes and foursomes match play, the side has begun its stipulated round when it makes its first stroke in that round.
The stipulated round has ended in match play when all of the players in the match have completed the final hole of the match (although a player may lodge a subsequent claim under Rule 2-5 or correct wrong information under Rule 9-2b(iii)). With the first round of a 36-hole match, the stipulated round has ended when all the players in the match have completed the final hole of that stipulated round.Decision 3-3 clarifies the situation in stroke play;
In all forms of stroke play other than foursomes, a competitor has begun his stipulated round when he makes his first stroke in that round. In foursomes stroke play, the side has begun its stipulated round when it makes its first stroke in that round.
In individual stroke play, the competitor's stipulated round has ended when he has completed play of the final hole of that round (including correction of an error under a Rule, e.g., Rule 15-3b or Rule 20-7c). In foursomes or four-ball stroke play, the stipulated round has ended when the side has completed play of the final hole of that round (including correction of an error under a Rule).To show why it is important to know when a stipulated round starts and finishes here are a few scenarios, which assume the stipulated round in a singles, stroke play competition starts on the 1st hole and finishes on the 18th;
- A player is not penalised for giving advice to a fellow competitor before they have made a stroke on the 1st hole.
- Similarly, a player is not penalised for giving advice to a fellow competitor who has yet to complete their round after they have holed out their own ball in play on the 18th.
- A player may make adjustments to a club before they have made a stroke on the 1st hole.
- A player is not penalised for bringing 15 clubs onto the 1st teeing ground, providing they dispose of one before they make their first stroke.
- A player may bring balls that have been artificially warmed onto the 1st tee in a lined bag that will retain their heat. Decision 14-3/13.5 (But please don’t think that I condone this practice.)
- A player is only responsible for the actions of their caddie during a stipulated round, so even in a stroke play competition, a player's caddie may practice on, or test the putting green surfaces of the course, before their competitor tees off at the 1st hole.
- When a stipulated round has been suspended players may, prior to resumption of play, practice anywhere other than on the competition course, Exception to Rule 7-2.
- Players may change clubs between two stipulated rounds of a 36-hole competition, but not when play of a round has been suspended.
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