Thursday 19th July - Ruling of the Day
With the fairways playing hard and fast on the opening day at Carnoustie, the putting green was the place for players to hunt down birdies and avoid any potential slip-up’s.
In marking his ball on the 4th putting green, Argentine, Emiliano Grillo tapped down his ball-marker with the sole of his putter, but in doing so, the ball-marker stuck to the bottom of the putter causing it to move from its original position.
Such a situation is specifically covered by Rule 20-1 which states (in part) that if a ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of marking its position, there is no penalty providing the movement of the ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of marking the position of the ball. Decision 20-1/6 then clarifies that the act of tapping down the marker with the putter is considered to be part of the act of replacing the ball. Therefore, the ball-marker was simply replaced on its original position without penalty.
In fact, as the Local Rule for a ball accidentally moved on a putting green is in effect at The Open Championship, the result would have been the same even if the movement of the ball marker was not directly attributable to the act of marking its position, for example if the player had dropped his ball on his marker.
Under this Local Rule, when a player’s ball lies on the putting green, there is no penalty if the ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved by the player, his partner, his opponent, or any of their caddies or equipment. The moved ball or ball-marker must be replaced as provided in Rules 18-2, 18-3 and 20-1.
If the spot where the ball or the ball-marker lay is not known, the ball must be placed as near as possible to where it lay but not nearer the hole (Rule 20-3c).