Fatiha Betcher at Emirates Club, Dubai
Past Masters winner Patrick Reed has been cleared of any rules breach or indiscretion after an incident at his penultimate hole on day three of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.
Reed is not the first golfer in the 34-year history of the event to come unstuck in ‘taking on’ the short, dog-leg right par-4 17th hole but finding his golf ball up a palm tree.
But that’s what happened when the American walked to the spot and saw what he thought was his ball.
And then in a sight that has been in practice at this Rolex Series event, a DP World Tour rules official was carrying binoculars, so that both Reed and the official could confirm the ball they were looking at was indeed Reed’s.
Nonetheless, it still prompted a Fleet Street journalist to further quizz Reed on the incident at 17 in asking how he had identified his ball
“I got lucky that we were able to look through the binoculars and you have to make sure it’s your ball and how I mark my golf balls is I always put an arrow on the end of my line, because the Pro VI the arrow on the end stop before it so you can see the arrow,” Reed said.
“And you could definitely see and identify the line with the arrow on the end, and so did the rules official. Luckily he was there to reconfirm and check it to make sure it was mine as well”.
One hundred percent asked the journalist?
“100 percent. I would have gone back to the tee if I wasn’t 100 percent.”
It was then close to 6.30pm, and about an hour after the end of play on day three, that the Tour issued the following statement that cleared Reed of any indiscretion.
Rule 7.2 How to Identify Ball – explanation
During round three of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, two on course referees and several marshals identified that Patrick Reed’s ball had become lodged in a specific tree following his tee shot on 17. The DP World Tour Chief Referee joined the player in the area and asked him to identify his distinctive ball markings. Using binoculars, the chief referee was satisfied that a ball with those markings was lodged in the tree. The player subsequently took an unplayable penalty drop (Rule 19.2c) at the point directly below the ball on the ground. To clarify, the player was not asked to specify the tree but to identify his distinctive ball markings to confirm it was his ball.
For information, see relevant rule below:
Rule 7.2 How to Identify Ball
A player’s ball at rest may be identified in any of these ways:
- By the player or anyone else seeing a ball come to rest in circumstances where it is known to be the player’s ball.
- By seeing the player’s identifying mark on the ball (see Rule 6.3a), but this does not apply if an identical ball with an identical identifying mark is also found in the same area.
- By finding a ball with the same brand, model, number and condition as the player’s ball in an area where the player’s ball is expected to be, but this does not apply if an identical ball is in the same area and there is no way to know which one is the player’s ball.
If a player’s provisional ball cannot be distinguished from their original ball, see Rule 18.3c (2).
Reed will commence his final round in a first appearance in the event in a seven-way share of fourth place at 11-under-par and trailing four shots adrift of World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who leads the field by three strokes on 15-under
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