Testing the Hazard - Stacy Lewis

Stacy Lewis incurred a two-stroke penalty during the third round of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup when her caddie breached Rule 13-4 by testing the sand in a bunker.

Stacy’s tee shot at the 16th hole found a fairway bunker and her caddie, Travis Wilson, entered the bunker to survey her shot.  While standing in the bunker he twisted his foot in the sand so as to test it. 

Rule 13-4 stipulates that a player must not test the condition of the hazard or any similar hazard before making a stroke at a ball that is in a hazard.  The player and her caddie are permitted to walk in and out of the bunker and the player would be entitled to dig her feet in to the sand to the extent necessary to place her feet firmly in taking her stance. However, the caddie’s actions and subsequent discussion with the player concerning the nature of the sand made it clear that he had tested the condition of the hazard and therefore breached Rule 13-4.

Rule 6-1 clarifies that a player incurs the applicable penalty for any breach of a Rule by her caddie, and so Stacy Lewis was penalised two strokes for her caddie’s breach, resulting in a third round of 68 (-4), leaving her four shots behind the tournament leader.

The penalty did not deter Lewis however, as she went on to score a final round of 64 (-8) to secure both the title and the number one spot in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

For more information on the incident see the LPGA website.