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sjduffers

Ian Poulter bullies rule official into wrong decision

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It looks like Ian Poulter got his (wrong) way after bullying the rule official into giving a LWH drop despite the ball not being found in time in the hazard, or virtually certainly known to be into the hazard (nobody saw the ball enter the hazard)

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/08/2017-pga-championship-ian-poulter-hazard-video-rules-official-argument

http://golfweek.com/2017/08/13/ian-poulter-argues-over-ball-being-lost-in-interesting-rules-drama/

He makes such a fuss about the ball being into the hazard as where else could it be... and of course someone finds the ball after the 5 minutes have elapsed... outside the hazard! How could Poulter be certain his ball was in the hazard, had his ball not been found, when it turns out to have been (lost) outside the hazard? He should have had to go back to the tee under 27-1 instead of dropping outside the hazard, so he got away with at least one shot in his favor...

Edited by sjduffers
Clarification and added link

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I wrote more here:

What I'd like to know:

  • What evidence/testimony did they consider? A spectator's testimony?
  • Where was the ball eventually found? In or out? Near where they were looking or not near it?
  • Did the referee feel they had virtual certainty?

 

Also, I disagree at all that this is a "The Rules are Terrible" issue:

 

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It must have been found inside the hazard, right?  Unless they were jump-cutting, it looks like it was found before he played his next shot.

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3 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

It must have been found inside the hazard, right?  Unless they were jump-cutting, it looks like it was found before he played his next shot.

I don't think that matters. I has to be found before the time limit. 

Still, how is that not played like a pond that isn't visible from the tee? You see the ball go flying over this hill, or maybe tall grass. You are virtually certain it's in the hazard. if that entire wooded area is marked as a lateral, if I see the ball fly into the trees there, and I don't here it hit anything hard (like a tree trunk). I am vertically certain it's in the hazard. 

 

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21 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I don't think that matters. I has to be found before the time limit. 

Still, how is that not played like a pond that isn't visible from the tee? You see the ball go flying over this hill, or maybe tall grass. You are virtually certain it's in the hazard. if that entire wooded area is marked as a lateral, if I see the ball fly into the trees there, and I don't here it hit anything hard (like a tree trunk). I am vertically certain it's in the hazard. 

 

Whereas, if you hit it AROUND the hill instead of over it, you'd be horizontally certain? :P

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I don't understand why the fan standing right there didn't tell them where the ball was. I saw the ball hit and land in the grass and while they were scurrying around looking I figured somebody was gonna notify Ian where his ball was? It was quite clear on tv. 

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55 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I don't think that matters. I has to be found before the time limit. 

It does in order for him to actually play it.  But my point was that they found the ball before he played his next shot, and he played as if he could take a drop from the hazard, so it MUST have been in the hazard.  Otherwise he would have taken a lost ball penalty (for a ball found after 5 minutes).

You can't play a ball if it's found after the time limit, but it can still "count" as evidence for virtual certainty.

Edited by Hardspoon

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Sounds to me like the rules official should have been a little more certain of the rules! If he had been, no "bullying" would have been possible!

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6 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Sounds to me like the rules official should have been a little more certain of the rules! If he had been, no "bullying" would have been possible!

He was bullied into the idea that they had virtual certainty.

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2 hours ago, David in FL said:

Has anyone figured out where the ball was finally found?  In or out?

 

This article says he was allowed to drop so it must have been found in the hazard.

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44 minutes ago, krupa said:

This article says he was allowed to drop so it must have been found in the hazard.

The ball was found OUTSIDE the hazard after Ian had bullied the official into agreeing that "it was virtually certain" that it was in the hazard.  Jordan (and company) found it after the 5 minutes.  So, since the official had caved in before they found the ball that trumps empirical evidence that it was in fact not in the hazard?  The rule official knew that they found the ball outside the hazard and let him play the LWH rule anyway.  That just seems wrong.

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15 minutes ago, Pardner said:

The ball was found OUTSIDE the hazard after Ian had bullied the official into agreeing that "it was virtually certain" that it was in the hazard.  Jordan (and company) found it after the 5 minutes.  So, since the official had caved in before they found the ball that trumps empirical evidence that it was in fact not in the hazard?  The rule official knew that they found the ball outside the hazard and let him play the LWH rule anyway.  That just seems wrong.

http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!decision-26,d26-1-3

26-1/3 - Ball Played Under Water Hazard Rule; Original Ball Then Found Outside Hazard

Q.A player believed his original ball had come to rest in a water hazard. He searched for about a minute but did not find his ball. He therefore dropped another ball behind the hazard under Rule 26-1 and played it. He then found his original ball outside the hazard within five minutes of having begun to search for it. What is the ruling?

A.When the player dropped and played another ball behind the hazard, it became the ball in play and the original ball was lost.

If it was known or virtually certain that the original ball was in the water hazard, the player was entitled to invoke Rule 26-1. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that the original ball was in the water hazard, the player was required to put another ball into play under Rule 27-1. In playing the ball dropped under Rule 26-1, the player played from a wrong place.

In match play, he incurred a penalty of loss of hole (Rule 20-7b).

In stroke play, he incurred the stroke-and-distance penalty prescribed by Rule 27-1 and an additional penalty of two strokes for a breach of that Rule (Rule 20-7c). If the breach was a serious one, he was subject to disqualification unless he corrected the error as provided in Rule 20-7c.

See also the other 26-1/3.x rules, like http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!decision-26,d26-1-3.7.

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So should the rule of thumb be, if you never see the ball hit the water that you should just assume it's lost then? There could be a good number of plausible scenarios where the ball could end up outside the hazard or lost, but majority of the time you know it should be in the hazard.

It would be nice to know what level of evidence is required for virtual certainty.

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4 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

So should the rule of thumb be, if you never see the ball hit the water that you should just assume it's lost then?

No.

If there's relatively closely mown grass in the area, and everyone sees the ball roll over a hill toward the hazard, and it's nowhere to be found when it would otherwise be easily found if it's outside the hazard, that can constitute virtual certainty.

That's the standard: virtual certainty. Regardless of the conditions. It could be thick tall grass and trees and bushes, and maybe from the tee you had no idea, but if a grounds staffer says "yeah I saw your ball splash down right about there" and you deem him credible, that can be virtual certainty.

4 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

It would be nice to know what level of evidence is required for virtual certainty.

Virtual certainty IS the standard or "level of evidence."

http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!decision-26,d26-1-1

26-1/1 - Meaning of "Known or Virtually Certain"

When a ball has been struck towards a water hazard and cannot be found, a player may not assume that his ball is in the water hazard simply because there is a possibility that the ball may be in the water hazard. In order to proceed under Rule 26-1, it must be "known or virtually certain" that the ball is in the water hazard. In the absence of "knowledge or virtual certainty" that it lies in a water hazard, a ball that cannot be found must be considered lost somewhere other than in a water hazard and the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.

When a player's ball cannot be found, "knowledge" may be gained that his ball is in a water hazard in a number of ways. The player or his caddie or other members of his match or group may actually observe the ball disappear into the water hazard. Evidence provided by other reliable witnesses may also establish that the ball is in the water hazard. Such evidence could come from a referee, an observer, spectators or other outside agencies. It is important that all readily accessible information be considered because, for example, the mere fact that a ball has splashed in a water hazard would not always provide "knowledge" that the ball is in the water hazard, as there are instances when a ball may skip out of, and come to rest outside, the hazard.

In the absence of "knowledge" that the ball is in the water hazard, Rule 26-1 requires there to be "virtual certainty" that the player's ball is in the water hazard in order to proceed under this Rule. Unlike "knowledge," "virtual certainty" implies some small degree of doubt about the actual location of a ball that has not been found. However, "virtual certainty" also means that, although the ball has not been found, when all readily available information is considered, the conclusion that there is nowhere that the ball could be except in the water hazard would be justified.

In determining whether "virtual certainty" exists, some of the relevant factors in the area of the water hazard to be considered include topography, turf conditions, grass heights, visibility, weather conditions and the proximity of trees, bushes and abnormal ground conditions.

The same principles would apply for a ball that may have been moved by an outside agency (Rule 18-1) or a ball that has not been found and may be in an obstruction (Rule 24-3) or an abnormal ground condition (Rule 25-1c).

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It looks to me that indeed the ball entered the LWH where Poulter took his drop, but it flew in there quite a ways, without touching any tree (and thus nobody heard anything) and finally settled outside the hazard, because the red line was not parallel to the fairway, but made like a big notch deeper into the woods and then got parallel again to the fairway. Poulter's ball went further than he thought: it got into the hazard and then crossed the line outside again, just by keeping on its trajectory (no bounces).

The RO got bullied into thinking that they had virtual certainty after Poulter said: it entered here (he's right about that), and everything to this side is marked red (in fact, almost everything) and we've looked outside the red areas and the ball is not there so where else could it be?  Supposedly, they even used the video replay to determine that, but they were not looking where the ball actually landed, which is visible on the video replay, something like 20-25 yards further up the hole, and no longer in the hazard.

To me, they didn't review the video properly and while in general Poulter was right about his virtual certainty conviction - had the red line had been roughly parallel to the fairway. But in this case, it was not and there was plenty of space for the ball to be outside the hazard, even without being deflected by a tree (a sound that nobody heard).  And since that ball was found after 5 minutes, he should have gone back to the tee under 27-1 instead of dropping under 26-1. 

ETA: There was no spectator involved at all, on that side of the hole. Only marshals, players, caddies and rule officials.

Edited by sjduffers

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23 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

and finally settled outside the hazard

 

9 hours ago, Pardner said:

The ball was found OUTSIDE the hazard after Ian had bullied the official into agreeing that "it was virtually certain" that it was in the hazard. 

How do you both know it was found outside the hazard?  (I'm actually asking - is there a video or something?  I haven't seen a definitive statement that it was found outside of it).

It was found outside the hazard, why did they still let him take the drop?

Edited by Hardspoon

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1 minute ago, Hardspoon said:

How do you both know it was found outside the hazard?It was found outside the hazard, but then they still let him take the drop?  That makes no sense.

I know the ball was found outside the hazard because I watched the whole thing (on TNT) on my DVR. Not just the abbreviated version posted on the various web sites.

4 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

It was found outside the hazard, but then they still let him take the drop?  That makes no sense.

They (Poulter and the rulesofficial) decided they had virtual certainty, even though they really didn't, and then Jordan Spieth found the ball before Poulter took his drop. But, because the decision had already been made that they had virtual certainty, they proceeded with the consequence of it, which is to drop under the LWH rule.

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