Can a player really take a Mulligan while playing an Official Round of Golf?
Normally not in Stroke Play, but there is an exception to Rule 11.1b which states that when a ball played from a putting green accidentally hits any person, animal or movable obstruction on the putting green “the stroke does not count and the original ball or another ball must be replaced on its original spot”. Note that this is a MUST not an option.
So, in this circumstance, you don’t count your stroke and replay your stroke from, or as near as possible to your ball’s original position.
Just recently two professional golfers, Jesper Parnevik and Paul Casey found themselves in this position.
Jesper Parnevik had a short bogey putt at the par-3 3rd at Prestonwood CC, in North Carolina, when his ball lipped out of the hole and struck his foot.
He then tapped in for, what he believed was, a double-bogey five.
Unfortunately, Parnevik breached Exception 2 to Rule 11.1b, his ball having been on the putting green when he first putted and he ended up having to take a treble-bogey six.
Why? The first putt didn’t count but he should have replaced his ball on its original spot. The second putt, the tap in, did count but, he has now played a ball from a wrong place and picks up the general penalty, which is two strokes.
Earlier in the season, Paul Casey, at the Porsche European Open, had a similar experience when video footage showed his ball had rolled over a moving insect as it dropped into the hole.
But Casey was not penalised for not replaying his stroke; why?
He avoided a penalty because he wasn’t aware of the incident Rule – a defence that, unfortunately, was not available to Parnevik.
Another unusual rule that applies in Stroke Play which you may not come across during your regular rounds of golf, but nevertheless bear it in mind.
However this does not apply should your moving ball, on a putting green, strike a flagstick that has been moved from the hole or a person holding the removed flagstick.
This incident is dealt with under Rule 13.2b(2), where there is no penalty for striking the flagstick or a person holding the flagstick, and in this instance you MUST play your ball as it lies.
Enjoy your golf
Rules of Golf Blog: www.my-golf.uk