Ask the Rules Guy: Imperfect Practice

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Mr. Rules Man: My college buds and I played 72 holes of stroke play to see whose game was tops. After holing out for par on the final hole of the third round, I dropped a ball and practiced the birdie putt I had just missed. One of my friends, with whom I shared the lead at that point, claimed that I should be disqualified for practicing on the course between tournament rounds. That so?
-- Dylan Hulser, New York, N.Y.

Some friend! Decision 7-2/8 lays out a similar situation to yours. Under Rule 7-2, you may practice putting or chipping on (or near) the green of the previous hole played. The same privilege applies immediately after completing a round, even though technically such practice would be between rounds. If you had left the course, however, and later returned to practice on the 18th green, your "bud" could have DQ'ed you under Rule 7-1b.

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