AmericaThe PGA Tour on August 26 gave players a “preferred lie” advantage even though the first round of the tournament took place in dry weather.

Spectators were conspicuous as the BMW Championship players lifted the ball, wiped the mud, and repositioned for the next shot in good weather and the Caves Valley pitch looking dry. But this is valid under the rules that apply specifically to the opening day. Because the ground is not completely dry, many places are still soggy under the grass after Hurricane Henri.

“The heavy rain caused by Hurricane Henri last weekend, along with the hot and humid air temperature and calm weather, made Caves Valley dry for a long time. Many players in the pro-am event two days ago complained that their balls were muddy, causing them to get wet. Therefore, we had to activate the ‘preferred lie’ for the opening round,” explained Steve Rintoul – Head of Refereeing.

The first round of the BMW Championship was sunny, but the PGA Tour still applied the advantage of placing the ball because the ground was not completely dry after Hurricane Henri.  Photo: AP

The first round of the BMW Championship was sunny, but the PGA Tour still applied “the advantage of placing the ball” because the ground was not completely dry after Hurricane Henri. Photo: AP

Early in the morning of the opening day of August 26, they announced the application of “preferred lie”. The organizers will closely monitor the ground and weather conditions to update the rules of the game after each round.

According to the 2019 golf rules – the latest version, the ball placement advantage is valid in abnormal course conditions due to bad weather, including snowfall and only in “closely cut grass areas” – the maximum grass area fairway, including cuts through the rough, edge or collar of the green.

This right includes three basic operations – lift the ball – wipe the mud – set a new position. When used, the golfer must mark the original position before lifting the ball. After wiping the stain, they put it in a new location that is more convenient, but no closer to the target than the original and within the specified range.

This frame can be within 15cm, equal to the length of the scoreboard, even a club shaft, depending on the course and the rules for the tournament. And for that reason, golfers are recommended, in addition to the general rules of golf, to check their own rules to avoid being unfairly penalized like PGA Tour player Ryuji Imada.

In 2010, Imada attended the Star Trophy at Mission Hills, China. At that time, Imada kept deploying the advantage of placing the ball within a shaft like on the PGA Tour. But the solution rule dictates the length of the scoreboard. After 12 holes, Imada discovered the mistake thanks to his colleague Danny Lee. At the end of the round, he actively informed the referee team. And with 13 violations, Imada added 26 penalty strokes. Therefore, his scoreboard actually recorded 97 strokes despite actually fighting 71 strokes on par73.

Quoc Huy

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