World number 3 incurred seven penalty strokes.

Even though you are world number 3, you cannot always avoid incurring a penalty.

Lydia Ko realized this recently. I Dana Open on the LPGA she had to accept no less than seven penalty strokes in the final round, since she thought that the “preferred lies”* local rule (lift the ball and place it – or another one – within a certain distance (not nearer the hole) was in place in that round.

During the third round Saturday the was a weather suspension in almost 4 hours whereafter “preferred lies” was introduced for the rest of the round.

BUT in the final round Sunday, there was only “preferred lies” at hole 1 and 10… but Ko thought it was introduced on all holes! Ko had a preferred lie on hole 2, 7 and 9, incurring a two-stroke penalty for each of these for playing from a wrong place (Rule 14.7a), which is six penalty strokes in all.

Moreover, at hole 11 she had liftet her ball, but then called for a Rules official. Since she had not played form a wrong place, she “only” incurred a one-stroke penalty (under Rule 9.4b – for lifting her ball in a situation, where it was not allowed) and replaced the ball.

So that is seven penalty strokes in all!

Thus, Ko had to sign a 78. Despite the three first round in 67-68-72 (tied 24) she ended as tied 65 In -1… 22 strokes after the winner (Linn Grant).


When any part of a player’s ball touches part of the general area cut to fairway height or less [or identify a specific area such as ‘on the fairway of the 6th hole’], the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:

  • Reference Point: Spot of the original ball.
  • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: [Specify size of relief area, such as one club-length, one scorecard length or 6 inches] from the reference point, but with these limits:
  • Limits on Location of Relief Area:
    • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
    • Must be in the general area.

In proceeding under this Local Rule, the player must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing a ball under Rules 14.2b(2) and 14.2e. But, for the purposes of applying Rule 14.2e, the player has only chosen the spot on which to place the ball once the ball has been set down, and the player has let the ball go with the intent for that ball to be in play.

After a ball has been placed and is in play under this Local Rule, if the player then proceeds under another Rule that provides relief, this Local Rule may be used again.

Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a.