Love's Mistaken Lift

The misunderstanding in the Love-Cink v. Weir-Immelman morning foursome play provided an interesting dilemma. Love thought he heard Weir suggest that the 1-2 foot putt was good, but Weir merely said that Cink had hit a great shot.  Love picked up the ball. Weir protested, Immelman suggested it mean loss of hole. Captains were called in. Gary Player looked like he just woke up from a nap.

The PGA Tour official seemed perplexed, so guess who came to the rescue? That's right, the USGA's Tom Meeks.

He correctly ruled that because it was clearly a misunderstanding, Love could replace the ball with no penalty. Meeks cited Rule 18. Reader Blue Blazer emailed to suggest the ruling was correct, the rule cited by Meeks may not have been the right one.

2-4/3  Player Lifts Ball in Mistaken Belief That Next Stroke Conceded  

Q. In a match between A and B, B made a statement which A interpreted to mean that his (A’s) next stroke was conceded. Accordingly, A lifted his ball. B then said that he had not conceded A’s next stroke. What is the ruling?

A. If B’s statement could reasonably have led A to think his next stroke had been conceded, in equity (Rule 1-4) A should replace his ball as near as possible to where it lay, without penalty.

Otherwise, A would incur a penalty stroke for lifting his ball without marking its position — Rule 20-1 — and he must replace his ball as near as possible to where it lay.