Ruling of the Day – Mistaken Identity
KT Kim’s opening round of The 146th Open didn’t get off to the best of starts after his caddie inadvertently picked up his ball whilst playing the first hole.
The confusion arose when Kim’s fellow-competitor David Duval played a provisional ball towards the green, however when Duval’s first ball was found, Kim’s caddie picked up what he thought was Duval’s provisional ball, only to discover that the ball which he had lifted was in fact Kim’s own ball.
A player and his caddie are not generally permitted to lift or move the ball when it lies off the putting green and because the caddie had moved his player’s ball in play when not permitted to do so by the Rules, Kim incurred a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2.
Once the error had been discovered, Kim was required to replace his ball to its original position, but to add to the confusion, Kim’s caddie had not paid attention to the spot where he had picked the ball up. As the exact spot was therefore not known, Kim was required to drop the ball as near as possible to where it was estimated to have been picked up, no nearer the hole (Rules 20-3c and 20-2b).
After successfully getting his ball back into play, Kim eventually walked to the 2nd tee with an 1st hole opening triple bogey on the scorecard. He showed his composure by steadying the ship and played the remaining 17 holes in level par, carding a three-over-par 73.