August 18, 2015
In a match play event, my opponent and I both hit our tee shots into the woods and then hit provisional balls. After searching for 4 minutes, I found his ball but not mine.
I played my provisional and made a 5. It took him 2 strokes to get out of the woods and took a 6. He was upset and claimed that he had stopped looking for his ball so I should have stopped also. But I was looking for my ball when I found his. Was I in the wrong?
Rule 27-1c states that a player has 5 minutes from the time that he starts searching for a lost ball. No rule prohibits his competition from helping to search for the ball. If the original ball is found within 5 minutes, the provisional ball must be abandoned and the original ball must be played. Had he continued to play his provisional ball after finding the original ball, he would lose the hole under Rule 15-3a.
Happy golfing and remember the Rules Matter.