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Unplayable Lie and Phil Mickelson's "OB" decision

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So I was watching this and several rules questions came to mind.

First off, technically his ball was still considered in bounds, even though it's under the fence.

Secondly, he can't get free relief from the obstruction, because it's an OB fence, and is considered OB, so you can't take relief from something OB.

Third, he refuses to take a penalty stroke for either option, and take his medicine, so we're left with this mess.  Just Phil being Phil I suppose.

But then he Tin Cups it so that the ball ends up being OB.  Now he's lying 2, and HAS to take a drop for being OB.  So under the new rules he gets 1 clublength and a 1 stroke penalty and plays from there, which is what Lefty did at this point.

But using the hypothetical from his drive's ball position, where the ball is still technically in bounds, but underneath the "fence".  3 options for an unplayable.  First is go back to the previous spot and replay the shot.  And we all know Phil would never do this.  Option #2 is take two clublengths and a 1 stroke penalty, no closer to the hole, which is available to dumbass here, should he have surrendered to the golf gods and just taken his medicine.

The 3rd unplayable option is the one I have a question about.  Unplayable relief says you can go back as far as you want from where the ball lies to where your previous shot was, keeping the line of the hole anywhere you decide to drop.  Is this option not really available, because if you keep the line of the hole in play, he'd be OB even going back an inch from where his ball was?  Am I interpreting that option correctly, so essentially we're left with option #1 or #2 as the only options on the unplayable relief option here?


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I personally would have taken the provisional after I saw the lie.

If that wasn’t an option I would have just punched it out as far as I could.

Boss and I were talking about this one this morning, mind boggling.

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So I was watching this and several rules questions came to mind.
First off, technically his ball was still considered in bounds, even though it's under the fence.
Secondly, he can't get free relief from the obstruction, because it's an OB fence, and is considered OB, so you can't take relief from something OB.
Third, he refuses to take a penalty stroke for either option, and take his medicine, so we're left with this mess.  Just Phil being Phil I suppose.
But then he Tin Cups it so that the ball ends up being OB.  Now he's lying 2, and HAS to take a drop for being OB.  So under the new rules he gets 1 clublength and a 1 stroke penalty and plays from there, which is what Lefty did at this point.
But using the hypothetical from his drive's ball position, where the ball is still technically in bounds, but underneath the "fence".  3 options for an unplayable.  First is go back to the previous spot and replay the shot.  And we all know Phil would never do this.  Option #2 is take two clublengths and a 1 stroke penalty, no closer to the hole, which is available to dumbass here, should he have surrendered to the golf gods and just taken his medicine.
The 3rd unplayable option is the one I have a question about.  Unplayable relief says you can go back as far as you want from where the ball lies to where your previous shot was, keeping the line of the hole anywhere you decide to drop.  Is this option not really available, because if you keep the line of the hole in play, he'd be OB even going back an inch from where his ball was?  Am I interpreting that option correctly, so essentially we're left with option #1 or #2 as the only options on the unplayable relief option here?


I am pretty sure he can do option 3 and take the drop OB and then proceed with options for a ball that is OB.


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8 minutes ago, cnosil said:

I am pretty sure he can do option 3 and take the drop OB and then proceed with options for a ball that is OB.

 

OK, let's think this one through.  If you take a one stroke penalty with option 3 for an unplayable, you are now lying 2 and you are OB.  And correct me if I am wrong, but they still require players on the PGA Tour who go OB to go back and take the walk of shame to the tee, and rehit, which means he's lying 3 on the tee now (penalty stroke for unplayable AND going OB is in force), and hitting his fourth shot back towards the same crap he was just in, with a perfect mental picture of that fence.  So say he fixes his mental Tin Cup and lands that one in the fairway, he's now hitting 5 into the green, and provided he gets on the green, which on those greens is a 50/50 prospect, considering they rolled them harder than concrete and they reject any ball hit onto them that isn't coming straight down from a full wedge shot, he's essentially looking at 7 or snowman under your advice above.

But please, correct me if I am wrong and misinterpreting your advice.  And to clarify, that's all this is is advice.  We as players always need to remember that in scenarios like this, the rules are there to guide us, and to give us options.  We can seek advice from a rules official or our caddie (outside advice is a 2 stroke penalty, so you can't ask your playing partners what to do), but WE have to make the decision and accept the penalty of our decision.


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22 minutes ago, Shankster said:

I personally would have taken the provisional after I saw the lie.

If that wasn’t an option I would have just punched it out as far as I could.

Boss and I were talking about this one this morning, mind boggling.

A provisional isn't an option once the ball is found, and is in bounds.  A provisional covers any lost ball, or a ball assumed to be OB.  But since he's in bounds, he can take an unplayable (3 options) or play the ball as is.

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A provisional isn't an option once the ball is found, and is in bounds.  A provisional covers any lost ball, or a ball assumed to be OB.  But since he's in bounds, he can take an unplayable (3 options) or play the ball as is.


Well then a 5 iron little punch as close to the FW as possible. He would have been in dart throwing distance.

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1 minute ago, Shankster said:

 


Well then a 5 iron little punch as close to the FW as possible. He would have been in dart throwing distance.

 

righty or lefty?  Because I don't see a way he could've played that one left handed, as the fence would have eliminated his ability to actually swing the club.


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The fence wasn't there a few days ago.  As i understand it, it was only put up to keep people from walking onto the course from their backyards.  should have been a local rule regarding the barrier and allowed free drop IMO.  The white stakes were still there to determine OB.

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righty or lefty?  Because I don't see a way he could've played that one left handed, as the fence would have eliminated his ability to actually swing the club.


I’ll watch the video again and decide.

Even a putter. Had to be an option, especially for Phil.

I’ll be back.
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The fence could have been a local rule foe marking OB for the tournament.  Phil thought he could hit the ball toward the green, so he gave it a shot.  Personally, even swinging right handed, I wouldn't have tried it.  My view is he should have taken an unplayable, got relief like he did after his 2nd shot, and hit his 3rd to the green... but Phil is Phil.

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4 minutes ago, Jmarkus said:

The fence wasn't there a few days ago.  As i understand it, it was only put up to keep people from walking onto the course from their backyards.  should have been a local rule regarding the barrier and allowed free drop IMO.  The white stakes were still there to determine OB.

Rule 16-1 states

Quote

There is no free relief from an abnormal course condition when the abnormal course condition is out of bounds or your ball is in a penalty area.

The boundary fence, temporary for the tournament or not, is considered to be completely OB, so you can't take relief from it, without penalty. (unplayable lie option penalty)


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OK, let's think this one through.  If you take a one stroke penalty with option 3 for an unplayable, you are now lying 2 and you are OB.  And correct me if I am wrong, but they still require players on the PGA Tour who go OB to go back and take the walk of shame to the tee, and rehit, which means he's lying 3 on the tee now (penalty stroke for unplayable AND going OB is in force), and hitting his fourth shot back towards the same crap he was just in, with a perfect mental picture of that fence.  So say he fixes his mental Tin Cup and lands that one in the fairway, he's now hitting 5 into the green, and provided he gets on the green, which on those greens is a 50/50 prospect, considering they rolled them harder than concrete and they reject any ball hit onto them that isn't coming straight down from a full wedge shot, he's essentially looking at 7 or snowman under your advice above.
But please, correct me if I am wrong and misinterpreting your advice.  And to clarify, that's all this is is advice.  We as players always need to remember that in scenarios like this, the rules are there to guide us, and to give us options.  We can seek advice from a rules official or our caddie (outside advice is a 2 stroke penalty, so you can't ask your playing partners what to do), but WE have to make the decision and accept the penalty of our decision.

Quick read I think you are mostly correct except you don’t go back to tee. The first shot was in bounds. So now playing unplayable and taking the line back and dropping OB. Starts OB rules which mean you could go back to the unplayable lie, not the tee. Probably not a viable option because you may put yourself in an box with no escape.
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4 minutes ago, cnosil said:


Quick read I think you are mostly correct except you don’t go back to tee. The first shot was in bounds. So now playing unplayable and taking the line back and dropping OB. Starts OB rules which mean you could go back to the unplayable lie, not the tee. Probably not a viable option because you may put yourself in an box with no escape.

you are correct.  I was stuck on stroke and distance of the first shot that got us in this mess in the first place.  Essentially, dropping OB is like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.  You can do it, but you will still be no better off then you were if you tried to play the stupid thing, or took an unplayable, so dropping OB is just an excuse to waste a stroke and sandbag for those who play in net tournaments.  😉

Edited by GSwag
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OK, let's think this one through.  If you take a one stroke penalty with option 3 for an unplayable, you are now lying 2 and you are OB.  And correct me if I am wrong, but they still require players on the PGA Tour who go OB to go back and take the walk of shame to the tee, and rehit, which means he's lying 3 on the tee now (penalty stroke for unplayable AND going OB is in force), and hitting his fourth shot back towards the same crap he was just in, with a perfect mental picture of that fence.  So say he fixes his mental Tin Cup and lands that one in the fairway, he's now hitting 5 into the green, and provided he gets on the green, which on those greens is a 50/50 prospect, considering they rolled them harder than concrete and they reject any ball hit onto them that isn't coming straight down from a full wedge shot, he's essentially looking at 7 or snowman under your advice above.

But please, correct me if I am wrong and misinterpreting your advice.  And to clarify, that's all this is is advice.  We as players always need to remember that in scenarios like this, the rules are there to guide us, and to give us options.  We can seek advice from a rules official or our caddie (outside advice is a 2 stroke penalty, so you can't ask your playing partners what to do), but WE have to make the decision and accept the penalty of our decision.

He can always take an unplayable as long as the ball itself is in bounds (which it was). In this case I have no idea why in the world he didn't just take the 2 club length Unplayable Lie option.

To answer your Option 3- as long as he could keep the spot of the ball and the flag in a line he could go back on that line forever, provided that somewhere on that line is a spot that's in bounds. I'm guessing from the angle that option would have been out of bounds no matter how far he went back.

 

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