After all the scorecards have been returned in stroke play, the Committee may need to resolve ties for first place or other positions. The Committee should do so by applying the method detailed in the Terms of the Competition (see Section 5A(6)) which should have been specified in advance.
In a qualifier where a fixed number of players will move into match play, or when the competition is a qualifier for a later competition, there may be a play-off or play-offs to decide which players advance, which the Committee should organise.
In a stroke-play play-off between two players, if one of them is disqualified or concedes defeat, it is not necessary for the other player to complete the play-off hole or holes to be declared the winner.
In a stroke-play play-off between three or more players, if not all of them complete the play-off hole or holes, the order in which the players are disqualified or decide to withdraw determines the result of the play-off if necessary.
As detailed in Section 5A(7), it is important for the Committee to clarify in the Terms of the Competition when and how the result of the competition is final, as this will affect how the Committee will resolve any Rules issues that occur after play is complete in both match play and stroke play (see Rule 20).
The Committee should ensure that it carries out its responsibilities for finalizing the results of a match or stroke-play competition in line with the Terms of the Competition. For example:
Where the result of a match will be considered final when the Committee has recorded it on the official scoreboard, the Committee should ensure this is carried out as soon as possible.
If there are any Rules questions which may impact the result of the stroke-play competition, the Committee should resolve these issues, even if this means delaying the closing of the competition and announcing the winners.
If the competition involves amateur golfers, the Committee should make sure it is aware of the regulations concerning prizes that an amateur golfer may accept without breaching the Rules of Amateur Status. Committees should refer to the Rules of Amateur Status and Decisions on the Rules of Amateur Status which are available at USGA.org. Some of the key restrictions are:
An amateur golfer must not play golf for prize money.
An amateur golfer must not accept a prize or prize voucher of retail value in excess of the amount permitted by the Governing Body that administers the Rules of Amateur Status in the country where the competition is being played.
An amateur golfer may accept a symbolic prize of any value. An example of a symbolic prize is one made of gold, silver, ceramic, glass or the like that is permanently and distinctively engraved, such as a trophy, cup, medal or plaque.
An amateur golfer may accept a prize of any value, including a cash prize, for a hole-in-one made while playing a round of golf.
When an issue regarding the Rules is brought to the attention of the Committee after the competition is closed, the resolution will depend on the nature of the problem. If the issue is one where a player may have proceeded incorrectly under the Rules, the Committee should refer to Rule 20.2e to determine if a penalty of disqualification needs to be applied to the player.
When the issue is due to an administrative error by the Committee, it should correct the error and issue new results. If necessary, the Committee should retrieve any prizes mistakenly presented and award them to the correct players.
Administrative errors include:
Having allowed ineligible players to enter.
Miscalculating a player’s total score.
Incorrectly applying a handicap or leaving a player out of the final results.
Applying the wrong method of deciding ties.