Thank you to Jeanne Meyers, GAM Assistant Director of Rules & Competition, for helping us understand the Rules!
Webb Simpson led by 1 stroke in the final round of the 2011 New Orlean’s Classic. On the green at address, putter 4-5 inches behind the ball, he saw the wind move the ball about 1/4″. Simpson called a penalty on himself – one stroke. With the score tied, he was forced to a playoff which he then lost. His tournament win slipped away because of wind.
This year one of golf’s most unpopular Rules,18-2b, now has a welcome exception.
This exonerates a player if it is known that she did not cause her ball to move. Example: if a gust of wind moves her ball after it has been addressed, there’s no penalty and ball is played from its new location.