Ask the Rules Guy: When your opponent’s bunker shot turns your putting line into a beach

Ask the Rules Guy


Dear Rules Guy: In a recent match, my opponent's ball landed on the fringe between my ball (which I was preparing to hit from a greenside bunker) and the hole. When I hit my bunker shot, a bunch of sand landed on and around his ball. He wanted to clean the line, and I let him. Was this the correct ruling?
— "The Shovel" Mortensen, via e-mail

Great nickname. It commands respect, like "The Rock," "The Hammer," or "Rules Guy." (Worst nickname ever? I nominate old-time baseballer Joseph "Boob" Fowler.) The Rules have you covered with Decision 13-2/8.5, which states that your opponent is entitled to "the lie and line of play he had when his ball came to rest" (i.e., before you buried him). But next time, Mr. Shovel, avoid the sand — capisce?