Ruling of the Day Round 1
Colin Montgomerie had the honour of hitting the opening tee shot of The 145th Open at Royal Troon today.
On the 16th hole, Montgomerie was a little lucky his ball did not run into the burn, which crosses the fairway. His ball came to rest just outside the yellow lines of the water hazard such that his left foot would be on the portion of the bridge inside the hazard line. A man-made bridge is considered to be an immovable obstruction and a player is entitled to relief if he has interference to the lie of ball, area of intended swing or stance (Rule 24-2). The referee walking with the match offered Montgomerie the option of taking relief from the bridge; however, as he was on a good lie he decided to play the ball.
If, however Montgomerie’s ball had lain inside the yellow lines of the hazard but on the bridge he would not have been entitled to any free relief. In that situation, he would have to either play the ball as it lay or take relief under penalty under the water hazard Rule (Rule 26-1). He would, however have been entitled to ground his club on the bridge inside the water hazard. This is as per the Note to Rule 13-4.
Montgomerie bogeyed the 16th hole but he finished the round at level par and will start the second round eight strokes behind first round leader Phil Mickelson.