Just curious about a situation that occurred in the USGA women's amateur (match play quaterfinals).
A player played a pitch from in front of an elevated green. She left the shot well short, and as it started to roll back down the hill towards her, she clearly stepped on the divot she had made. It looked like the ball rolled right across the spot, so I don't think there was any question it was a 1-2 violation. The ball continued to roll and ended behind where she hit the original shot.
It ended up not mattering because she lost the hole anyhow. The rules official consulted by the broadcasters indicated that a referee would have to talk to her. I don't think he was indicating that there would be any additional penalty since as said, she had already lost the hole. He was just indicating now that the official was aware, they were required to discuss it.
But anyhow, onto the question. Let's say her ball had rolled backwards 10-feet to the right of the divot.
1) Is she still subject to the penalty?
2) If she plays her next shot with a wedge, it should obviously come nowhere near the affected area of ground. If she claims her sole purpose was to care for the course, would she be subject to a penalty for altering her line of play, even though it's 10-feet to the right and a wedge is being used?
3) Lastly, would the penalty be assessed for altering the course on her first pitch where it could roll through it, or her second pitch where it could be in her line of play if she completely duffs the wedge?
My guesses: 1- yes, 2- no, only because the penalty would be assessed after the first shot, 3 - first pitch