September - 2012
A couple weeks ago playing in the Friday Whistle tournament, a unique thing occurred.
At the end of play and adding up the team scores, two teams tied. Not that unusual. What is the recommended method to settle ties using a score card?
Using the scorecard to settle ties, the USGA says match the best score for the last nine holes. O.K. The two teams in the whistle tied. Next, on the basis of the last six holes-both teams tied. Next, use the last three holes-both teams tied. Finally they say to use the score on the 18th hole. Both teams tied! That's very unusual.
The USGA stops there to settle ties and the assumption is it's up to the Committee to find the next step.
My guess is the fairest way to settle this is to declare both teams the winner, or if you have to have a single winner, flip a coin!
This is an illustration how the Rules can cover almost everything, but not quite everything…
Part C Conditions Of The Competition
Rule 33-1 provides, "The Committee must establish the conditions under which a competition is to be played." The conditions should include many matters such as method of entry, eligibility, number of rounds to be played, etc. which it is not appropriate to deal with in the Rules of Golf or this Appendix. Detailed information regarding these conditions is provided in "Decisions on the Rules of Golf" under Rule 33-1 and in "How to Conduct a Competition."
However, there are a number of matters that might be covered in the Conditions of the Competition to which the Committee's attention is specifically drawn. These are:
(b) In the event of a tie in a handicap stroke-play competition, a play-off with handicaps is recommended. The play-off may be over 18 holes or a smaller number of holes as specified by the Committee. It is recommended that any such play-off consist of at least three holes.
In competitions where the handicap stroke allocation table is not relevant, if the play-off is less than 18 holes, the percentage of 18 holes played should be applied to the players' handicaps to determine their play-off handicaps. Handicap stroke fractions of one half stroke or more should count as a full stroke and any lesser fraction should be disregarded.
In competitions where the handicap stroke table is relevant, such as four-ball stroke play and bogey, par and Stableford competitions, handicap strokes should be taken as they were assigned for the competition using the players' respective stroke allocation table(s).
(c) If a play-off of any type is not feasible, matching score cards is recommended. The method of matching cards should be announced in advance and should also provide what will happen if this procedure does not produce a winner. An acceptable method of matching cards is to determine the winner on the basis of the best score for the last nine holes. If the tying players have the same score for the last nine, determine the winner on the basis of the last six holes, last three holes and finally the 18th hole. If this method is used in a competition with a multiple tee start, it is recommended that the "last nine holes, last six holes, etc." is considered to be holes 10-18, 13-18, etc.
For competitions where the handicap stroke table is not relevant, such as individual stroke play, if the last nine, last six, last three holes scenario is used, one-half, one-third, one-sixth, etc. of the handicaps should be deducted from the score for those holes. In terms of the use of fractions in such deductions, the Committee should act in accordance with the recommendations of the relevant handicapping authority.
In competitions where the handicap stroke table is relevant, such as four-ball stroke play and bogey, par and Stableford competitions, handicap strokes should be taken as they were assigned for the competition, using the players' respective stroke allocation table(s).