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How to Proceed
- Question for March 11, 2023

A player hits their tee shot towards a road that is defined as out of bounds. Thinking that this ball could be OB the player then correctly plays a provisional ball down the middle of the fairway. After searching for one minute, the player is unable to find the original ball and therefore plays the provisional ball from a spot closer to the hole than where the original ball was estimated to be. While walking towards the hole the player then finds that his original ball had struck a cart path and was 30 yards closer to the hole than expected. Confused as how to continue, the player asks you for advice. What is the ruling?

A.      The player may lift the provisional ball and must continue with the original ball once it is found.

B.      The player must abandon the provisional ball and may continue play with the original ball but only if it was found within the three-minute search period.

C.      The player must continue play with the provisional ball.

D.      Because the player played a provisional ball for a ball that he thought was out of bounds but was later found to be inbounds, the player must lift both balls, the original and provisional, and proceed back to the tee hitting their third shot for a lost ball under stroke and distance penalty. 

Link to Answer

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