Originally Posted by Fourputt
What about the time during the Masters that Tiger putted the ball off the front of the 13th green into Rae's Creek, then pitched back over the creek from the fairway after dropping. I wouldn't count that as a putt. The penalty for dropping out of the hazard, maybe, but not the pitch. It simply isn't a putt.
I agree that it is not actually a putt, but I have heard/read multiple times that the PGA tour doesn't count any putts before you are on the green (i.e. using your putter from the fringe) but then counts everything as putts once you reach the green (even if you use a wedge and don't have a clear line at the hole). Here is what the USGA says:
How to Count Putts
Q. Our club has a game each week for the lowest putts. What is the recommended method for counting putts?
A. The Rules of Golf do not address how statistics are kept. In USGA Championships where putts are counted, the player has made his first putt once he has made a stroke from the putting green and all subsequent strokes are counted as putts. It is up to the Committee in charge of the event to determine how putts will be counted and the method used for counting.
So, from a rules standpoint, when you putt a ball from the green to off the green, the next shot is not a putt (in that you can't mark the ball), but from a STATISTICS standpoint, the USGA would have counted Tiger's pitch (edit- or whatever his next stroke was) as a putt.