Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Live from Martis Camp: US Am Qualifying

    Unfortunately there isn't much to report from Schaffer's Mill on the Rules front.  The day went fairly well, except for a bit of a water shortage in middle of the second round.  The pace for the day was set at 4:52 due to some lengthy walks between holes and the layout of the course.  Only one group finished over pace in the first round, and every group finished more than 20 minutes ahead of pace in the second round.
    The best part of the day was our medalist.  Bryson Dechambeau shot 67-65 to lead the field by 6 strokes and tie the course record.  We had a 3-for-2 playoff at -4 (138) that ended after one hole with two pars and a bogey.
    One of the best Rules questions of the day was a hypothetical posed by one of our tournament officials.  Broken into general terms the question basically was: A player cannot find his ball and proceeds as if a native area of grass is a lateral water hazard.  He drops and within five minutes of beginning to search, but prior to playing the dropped ball he finds the original.  What should he do?
    The answer was complicated by the fact that the player had proceeded under an inapplicable Rule.  Was it an improperly substituted ball in which case the original ball was not lost until a stroke is made at the substituted ball (see Definition of Lost Ball), or was the player required to proceed under stroke and distance and therefore the original was lost once the ball was dropped?
    The answer can be found by reading Decision 34-3/6 in the explanation of Decision 25-1c/2.  When a player proceeds under an inapplicable Rule it is the Committee's job to determine the applicable Rule. At the time the ball was dropped, the original had not been found and therefore the only applicable Rule was 27-1.  As 27-1 applied the dropped ball was dropped in a wrong place under stroke and distance.  Therefore the original ball was lost once the substituted ball was dropped.  The hypothetical player was required to correct his error under Rule 20-6 by putting a ball properly into play from where the previous stroke was made (stroke and distance).  He could not continue with the original ball.
   Go ahead and sleep on that one.
   Tomorrow I have my first official assignment at the Junior Amateur.  I'm excited to get out on the course and do one of the most fun jobs we have as tournament administrators.  My players shot 74, 74 and 79 today so there is some serious game in my grouping and I'm hoping to witness some pretty darn good golf in addition to fulfilling my role as a referee.

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