Rules Guy: Can you refuse a conceded putt in order to show your partner the break?
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In a four-ball match, Player A is putting for par on the same line that Player B, his partner, has a closer putt for birdie. B prepares to watch his partner’s putt to learn the break. I concede A’s par putt and tell him to pick it up; he refuses and putts anyway. Is this permitted? If not, does the team lose the hole? Is one of the players penalized — and if so, which one? —Katherine Larin, via email
No “good” deed goes unpunished? Wrong, wrong, wrong! In this instance, ignoring your (very clever) “That’s good, pick it up” incurs a penalty under the exception to Rule 23.6.
Normally in match play, players are permitted to putt out after a concession — but not in four-ball in a situation only when doing so you can help your partner.
Once you conceded A’s putt, he has completed play on the hole, in this case making a par. When he went ahead and putted to help show B the line, a penalty is incurred, namely, B (not A) is out of the hole, and his score can’t count. Also, both players on the team get an F for Rules knowledge.
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