Ruling of the Day – Sunday

As a result of the gusting 30mph winds that swept over Royal St George’s on Sunday morning, in the more exposed areas, balls were oscillating on the putting greens and on some occasions, actually moving in the wind. 

On the 10th green, before Ryan Moore replaced his ball on the putting green, he asked the referee for clarification of when his ball would be considered back “in play”.  Moore was concerned that his ball may move due to the wind once he had replaced it and asked when it would be considered replaced and if by leaving his ball-marker in position, this would make a difference.

Decision 20-4/1 provides the guidance and answer to Moore’s question.  Under Rule 20-4, a ball is in play when it is replaced, whether or not the object used to mark its position has been removed.  If the wind then subsequently moves the ball, the ball must be played from its new position regardless of the fact the ball-marker is still on the ground. 

In Moore’s case, when he replaced the ball on the 10th green, the ball remained at rest when replaced and he was able to putt out for his par.  Finishing with a birdie 3 on 18, Moore completed his 2011 Open Championship tied for 28th place.