I played in the 3rd Round of the Nike match play event (formerly Volvo). I started off terribly and found myself 4 down after the first 6 holes. Anyway a combination and a near faultless back 9 and my opponent making some mental errors forces the match to into 2 play off holes. On the second play off hole I won by holing a 30 foot put for birdie.
The guy shakes my hand then as were walking back across the course he starts muttering then he said "i think you didn't play the right ball on the 18th, i think you cheated!"
I was gobsmacked the 18th was a confusing hole. The situation was I was 1 down. he tee off first and hits a tree 20 yards in front of the tee and finished behind a the tree. I hit a nice strike but a slight pull - its either going to be up on the left hand rough or just nudged into a very lightly wooded area (Happy with it) He messes up his second and finishes 2 fairways over behind another tree. So as we walk off there are 2 fairways between us. He didn't see his ball fly so I tell him the direction it went in and we set off.
When i got to my ball (in light rough, good lie and nice view of green) i put my bag down take my measurements grab a 5 iron and start to address the ball. It’s at this point i notice the ball is not mine. So i decide to carry on looking for my ball slightly further on it can now really only be in the wooded area. I find another two crappy old balls on my travels and then eventually see mine right next to a tree stump no chance off getting to the green.This has taken me now a good 3 or 4 minutes.He calls out to me after walking over the first fairway and asks if i have it, I said yes but i don't like the lie.
To be honest i wasn't really bothered as he was basically out the hole and no chance of getting to the green in 3. I figured a 5 was good enough to take it to a playoff so I punch out to around 90 yards from the green into the rough the other side. He hit his 3rd into fairway bunker, 80 yards from green. When he got to me he said "why did you leave you bag so far behind your ball?" I explained that I almost played the wrong ball with one i found and that's where I set my bag down. I went on to get my 5 and I think he got a 7 in the end. Nothing more was said until after the game. He was adamant I did something wrong and said I played the wrong ball. I could even prove to him I still had all my balls I started with.
I don't think addressing the wrong ball is a rule breach? Is it?
Anyway he rang the tournament director up and is now saying i pulled up a tree root so to be honest it seems likes he is just a bad loser and just making stuff up. But how should I handle the situation?
I'm really upset someone has questioned my integrity on the course. Only in last years match play championship i disqualified myself in the semi final because I played the wrong ball out the rough, the guys had already conceded and walked to the next tee. it was only when i picked my ball up off the green after pitching on I realized there was only 2 black dots and not 3 on my srixon2. Have been really cautious about this since which is probably why I noticed this time.
Do you think i should just let this slide? Shall i make a complaint about this guy?