The scene filmed by the cameras of the DP World Tour on Friday on the green of 3 of the Albatros course at the Golf National may make you smile, but the decision of the referees to authorize the Belgian Thomas Pieters to replay his shot is very questionable.
Thomas Pieters, putt
We are in the early afternoon and the key part of the day arrives at the green of 3. It is composed of the French number 1, Victor Perez, the Belgian number 1, Thomas Pieters, and the Scotsman Ewen Ferguson.
When it was Pieters' turn to play his putt on this par 5, many spectators gathered around the green. Putter in hand, Pieters addresses his ball, starts his climb, and when he begins his downswing, he says he heard a child cough loudly in the audience.
He wants to stop the execution of his shot but unfortunately it is not Tiger Woods who wants to. The American had indeed managed to interrupt a full shot of wood 3 at the start of the 13 in Augusta a few years ago. Very impressive !
Pieters' putter therefore hits the ball at low speed and it travels just over a meter when he is about 8 meters from the target. Distraught, the Belgian smiled, questioned his partners and called on a referee who, faced with the complexity of the case he had to decide, asked another official to come and support him.
After a long discussion, the referees allow the Belgian to replay his shot without penalty by replacing his ball where it lay. They considered the ball moved by accident and applied Rule 13.1 d. There are two special Rules for a ball or ball-marker moved on the putting green.
(1) No penalty for accidentally causing the ball to move. There is no penalty if the player, opponent or another player in stroke play accidentally moves the player's ball or ball-marker on the putting green. The player must:
Replace the ball on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated) (see Rule 14.2), or
Place a ball-marker to mark that original spot.
In a post on twitter, Pieters explains that he was told afterwards that he should have incurred a penalty but that the decision of the referees at the time allowed him to escape it.