Mulligans aren’t officially part of the rules of golf. Or so we thought.
Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik was involved in a very strange situation during the final round of the Champions Tour SAS Championship over the weekend.
Faced with a short putt for bogey, Parnevik’s putt horse-shoed around the hole and hit his foot. Not entirely sure what to do, Parnevik just hit the next putt in for what he thought would be a double-bogey.
But instead, he was deemed to have made a triple-bogey after rules officials phoned up the USGA to find out what the correct ruling should be.
It turns out he should’ve taken a mulligan and played the shot again in accordance with golf rule 11.1a which states:
If a player’s ball in motion accidentally hits any person or outside influence:
- There is no penalty to any player.
- This is true even if the ball hits the player, the opponent or any other player or any of their caddies or equipment.
“When a ball on the putting green accidentally hits any person, animal or immovable obstruction, this stroke does not count and the ball must be replaced on its original spot,” a rules official Brian Claar told a Reuters reporter.
“Jesper tapped it in. In that situation he’s played from the wrong place. Unfortunately he gets a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong place, and the one where he tapped in counts but the original stroke does not count.”
The correct procedure Parnevik should have followed was to simply place the ball back where he hit it from and play it again. Without penalty.
Remarkably this means there is a way to take a mulligan within the rules of golf.
Australia’s David Mackenzie finished just a shot behind winner Jerry Kelly. Mackenzie’s 9-under par final round was easily the best of the day and included this wonderful bunker shot for eagle on the 17th.