SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — The 2016 PGA Championship resumed Sunday with the third and final rounds going on simultaneously, as the PGA of America chose not to repair players after the third round. Instead, in the interest of getting in as much golf as possible before the rain overtakes Baltusrol again, they decided to send out golfers for Round 4 in their third-round pairings.
Those players in the fourth round will be playing the same golf course at the same time as the third round players…with one very important difference.
The PGA of America has notified players that they will be able to lift, clean and place their ball through the green in the fourth round. This is what was sent to players:
A ball lying on a closely mown area through the green, may be lifted without penalty and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. Having lifted the ball, the player must place it on a spot within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.
A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4). If the ball fails to come to rest on the spot on which it was placed, Rule 20-3d applies. If the ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other Rule apply.
If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it with a club, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.
Note: “Closely mown area” means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.
The PGA of America isn’t clear the last time that they used preferred lies (also called ball in hand) in a major round. However, they didn’t intend to do this. PGA of America Championships Officer Kerry Haigh was asked Saturday after play was called if there would be a possibility of playing the ball up on Sunday.
“They will be playing — it’s unlikely, very unlikely unless — it’s very unlikely,” Haigh said. “The Rules of Golf are there to cover wet weather.”