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Caddie picks up ball in hazard- incorrectly?


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First the links and quotes:

http://golfweek.com/2018/01/24/web-com-tour-player-throws-headcover-at-caddie-over-costly-and-mysterious-penalty/

Quote

The caddie made it clear he didn’t feel a penalty for picking up the ball should’ve been assessed

 

http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!decision-26,d26-1-9

Quote

26-1/9

 

Caddie Lifts Ball in Water Hazard Without Player's Authority

Q.A player's ball lying in a water hazard is lifted by the player's caddie without the player's authority. What is the ruling?

A.There is no penalty under Rule 18-2 if there was no doubt or it was reasonable to assume from the player's actions or statements that he would make his next stroke from outside the water hazard.

In the absence of such circumstances, the player incurred a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 and may either replace the ball as required by Rule 18-2 or proceed under Rule 26-1 and incur an additional one-stroke penalty under that Rule.

In such cases, any doubt should be resolved against the player.

 

All of the above is the supporting documentation for my question.

As I understand it, the caddie above picked up his player’s ball after the player appeared to want to take a drop from a hazard, without explicitly saying that.

A rules official on the scene assessed the penalty.  Was the caddie correct? Gray area depending on interpretations?

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The caddie was wrong.

That Decision hinges on two things:

  1. "if there was no doubt or it was reasonable to assume from the player's actions or statements…" is the first one. "Awww, ****" or "Awwww, shit" is not a definitive statement, and turning toward your bag (i.e. not motioning to pick the ball up, or grabbing a driver to measure for a drop if the hazard was red, etc.) is not a definitive action.
  2. "In such cases, any doubt should be resolved against the player." - There you go. That's what happened here. Simple as that.

And… put on a shirt, man.

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10 minutes ago, iacas said:

The caddie was wrong.

Thanks for the clarification. 

In the video, the caddie implied that there wasn’t any objection to the ruling at the time and that it dawned on him later that he might’ve been right. 

That was my first red flag.

Then the caddie referred to an anonymous friend who knows the rules real well (just trust him!) but does not want to be quoted. Second red flag. 

The decision quoted above said that any doubt goes against the player, so your explanation makes sense.  

13 minutes ago, iacas said:

And… put on a shirt, man.

Yah if I wanted to persuade people about my argument, I generally like to wear clothing

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Learn the Rules, man.

That doesn't meet my standard for "reasonable to assume." The player didn't even say something like "I can't hit that."

He could have chipped out sideways or something.

You don't touch a ball in play.

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I couldn't watch the video - what a rambling, horrible story teller.  Babble, babble, babble.  And put a f'ing shirt on, dude!

Like so many people in this world, he can't take accountability for his actions and looks to blame others.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

That doesn't meet my standard for "reasonable to assume." The player didn't even say something like "I can't hit that."

Nor mine. He could have been thinking "****, I need to eagle and I have to hit it from here" and went to the bag for a club. In no way is saying an expletive and walking away a definitive indication of abandoning that ball.

4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Calling this a controversy gives it far too much credit.

It probably is for those who say the rules are too complex and Draconian, blah blah etc. ;-)

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I dont think posting an 8 1/2 minute rambling rant on twitter is going to help his chances of finding new employment any time soon.

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15 minutes ago, iacas said:

Calling this a controversy gives it far too much credit.

Rules botching by a caddie? Yes.

Fair enough. One will come!

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Quote

There is no penalty under Rule 18-2 if there was no doubt or it was reasonable to assume from the player's actions or statements that he would make his next stroke from outside the water hazard.

Saying "F*ck" and giving up the search while walking towards his bag to presumably get another ball are both "reasonable to assume" that he's not going to hit from the hazard especially give the caddie knows his player really well.

The caddie was clearly in the right, I would think that he knows his players mannerisms better than the RO. Don't know what's wrong with this RO?

I'm in the camp where if RO make their own interpretations as in this case in these types of situations, then a player should call one over every time.

 

Agree with the shirt comments.

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10 minutes ago, Lihu said:

Saying "F*ck" and giving up the search while walking towards his bag to presumably get another ball are both "reasonable to assume" that he's not going to hit from the hazard especially give the caddie knows his player really well.

No, it's not. It just isn't, @Lihu, and the last sentence says any doubt - any doubt - should be resolved against the player. His ball was, from all accounts, still playable, just maybe not in the direction he wanted to go or whatever.

And why would he get a different ball? Usually they just drop that one, especially if you can recover it quickly.

And… the caddie didn't know his player that well. It was like the second week he caddied for him, I think.

10 minutes ago, Lihu said:

The caddie was clearly in the right

He wasn't. And nothing is "wrong" with the RO.

The caddie breached the rules, and the player is subject to penalty here.

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I think this is a great example of why defendants shouldn't take the stand sometimes.

Although he does shed some further light on the nature of their relationship, stating that Rhein plays better mad and that he was ok with it. This made the head cover throwing video a little more tolerable or explainable for me.

As far as the rule itself though and adding an additional penalty, I don't know if this is good for golf in the big picture.

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I don't think caddie knew player very well at all, though he had caddied for him the previous week...

And the player was absolutely in contention, I'm pretty sure he would take a close look at the ball to decide what to do, not just give up and take a drop with a playoff on the line.

Caddie's supposed "rules expert" didn't give him the right number, either.

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1 minute ago, baw1 said:

As far as the rule itself though and adding an additional penalty, I don't know if this is good for golf in the big picture.

It's a ball in play and at rest moved (and not accidentally). When that stops being a penalty, then I don't know what game we're playing…

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Note: This thread is 1091 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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