Ball Moved by Outside Interference

The golf majors are always a great place to find quirky rules issues.  Odd rules come into play every week on all pro tours, but since there are so many hours of coverage for the majors more of them can be seen.

Here’s an odd one.  At the 2013 US Open, Carl Pettersson is in the fairway at the fifth hole and begins his backswing when an errant shot from Francesco Molinari playing the second hole strikes his ball.   Pettersson stops his swing and steps back.

What is the penalty?  What should Petterson do?  What should Molinari do?

You can watch it here:  Ball Moved By Outside Interference

There is no penalty on Pettersson.  Pettersson should replace his ball as close as possible to where it was before the errant ball hit it.   If he does not replace his ball, however, there is a two-stroke penalty for hitting his ball from the wrong place.

There is no penalty on Molinari.  Molinari plays his ball in whatever position it was when it stopped rolling.  Unlike Pettersson who needs to reposition his ball, Molinari plays his as it lies.

USGA Rule 18-5


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