Rules Corner

Romero's Predicament At No. 11

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During Saturday's third round, Eduardo Romero's ball at rest moved on the putting green on the 11th hole. This raised a question whether he had incurred a penalty under Rule 18-2.

No penalty was appropriate under Rule 18-2b. Although Romero had grounded his club 4 to 6 inches behind the ball, he had not yet taken his stance for the stroke and thus had not yet addressed the ball, as is required by that Rule. In this regard, it is important that Romero intended to reset his feet prior to making the stroke, as was his usual practice in such situations (and as he did when he made his next stroke to hole out).

Nor was any penalty appropriate under Rule 18-2a. Although Romero grounded his club, he did not do so directly behind the ball, but rather 4-6 inches away from the ball. Moreover, when he grounded the club, he did so lightly, and the ball did not immediately move. Rather, it did so only a few seconds later. In these circumstances, and given that the

ball was on a slope on a firm and fast green made of Poa anua grass with little moisture to help keep it at rest, neither Romero nor his fellow-competitor thought that Romero caused the ball to move.

 

 

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