Ruling of the Day - Gusts of wind
With winds gusting up to 40mph it was no surprise that there were several instances of balls moving on putting greens during Friday’s play at Royal Birkdale.
With winds gusting up to 40mph it was no surprise that there were several instances of balls moving on putting greens during Friday’s play at Royal Birkdale. For the most part, dealing with situations where a ball has moved on the green is relatively straightforward as at The Open, the Local Rule for a ball moving on the putting green is in effect. This Local Rule eliminates the penalty for a golfer who accidentally causes their ball in play to move when it is on the putting green. However, it is still important to determine whether the player caused the ball to move as where that is the case, he must replace it, whereas, if wind causes the ball to move, then it must be played from its new position.
One such ruling occurred with Daniel Berger on the 18th green whilst playing during a particularly windy spell of weather. Having marked his ball on the green, Berger was just about to remove his ball marker when a gust of wind caused it to move a couple of inches from where it was marked. Despite the position of the ball being marked, the ball is considered to be in play under the Rules and the position of the marker is effectively irrelevant. As a result, because it was the wind that caused the ball to move and ‘wind’ is not an outside agency, Berger was required to play his ball from its new position.