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March 10, 2006

Tony Wallin


DAVE SENKO: Tony, if you could give us a quick explanation are what happened with Billy Andrade today.

TONY WALLIN: Well, from what we understand with the rules official, Tyler Dennis went out and interviewed Billy and his group, and subsequently talked to some of the marshals and people that were there, also.

Billy hit his tee shot quite a ways left on hole No. 6. He announced he was playing a provisional in case that ball might be lost or out of bounds. He went forward, found his golf ball in an area to the left of the sixth hole that for the last two years, we have not marked as either a hazard nor out of bounds. It's an area that is graded, it has a lot of sand, it's a fairly open area. They have put some roads in because in the future they will be putting some houses in there. The out of bounds actually begins about three quarters of the way up on the 7th hole on that side of the golf course.

And Billy and his group went over there, there's some white some rather large, white, lot stakes that are in this area. They are quite a ways to the left, and I guess in most of our minds, are obviously not out of bounds stakes because we never even use anything vaguely resembling those stakes for out of bounds.

When there have been lot stakes like that in the past, if they had been what we consider close to play or where we felt a player might mistake them for boundary stakes, we either had to try to have them removed or have indicated somehow on the stakes that they were to the boundary stakes. However, these were so far out of play that I myself when I marked the course, I didn't believe anybody would mistake them for out of bounds stakes.

The other thing, of course, is that the I didn't want to go out there and start marking up on somebody's lot stakes, either, not knowing if somebody is going to come out there and shoot at me.

But anyway, Billy and his group went over there and they determined he was out of bounds. Billy then went and played his provisional ball, which is not correct, and finished the hole and teed off on the next hole. When he played his provisional ball, he played a wrong ball is what it amounts to. He could have replaced his original ball and taken a two stroke penalty or one stroke penalty for moving a ball in play and replacing it, had he not played the provisional ball.

Once he played the provisional ball and picked up the original ball and played the provisional ball, he had played a wrong ball, and at that point. Had he called for a ruling, we would have had him go back to his original ball was, replace it with a two stroke penalty for playing the wrong ball and a one stroke penalty for moving a ball in play. It gets complicated. He would have obviously made a rather large score on the hole.

As it was, he played the provisional ball out, teed off on the next hole. So he played a wrong ball, did not correct it, and was then disqualified because the penalty for a breach of rule 14.3, playing a wrong ball, and not correcting it is disqualification.

There's a decision in the decision book that covers this not to the T, but pretty close, and it's decision 27 2(c/3). It's a lot of numbers there. But it basically covers this situation, not exactly the way it happened, but pretty close.

Q. The players in that group all said that they were confused by the sheet they were given before that said where they are building houses, that's out of bounds. That's why they said that.

TONY WALLIN: There's nothing on the sheet that says where they are building houses it's out of bounds. There's no wording like that on the sheet.

Q. Where are they confused?

TONY WALLIN: That's what I'd like to know because the only thing it says, white stakes are used to define our boundaries and then it goes on and tells about opposite margins and water hazards, which this was not.

Any time that there's a question like that, I mean, that's what we're out there for is for a player to call on us. They may have thought that was the case, but I've had other players that have hit in that area and said, is there out of bounds over here. They have called for a ruling and they have asked. Not all those, because they saw the stakes, but because it's a funny looking area.

What we are doing by not marking it out of bounds was trying to give the golfer more area to play in because he can hit it out in that area and instead of being out of bounds, because it would be very tight if we put a boundary in there where there eventually will be a boundary.

But from talking to marshals and the people that were out there, they said that his golf ball was not really even close to being on the other side of these white stakes, so we're a little confused as to why there was some confusion.

Here again, that's what we're out there for. Brett Quigley a couple of years ago and Dan Forsman at Bay Hill, when I called Brett on the home to ask him about his situation there, he said, "Tony, I thought it was a slam dunk what I did."

I said, "Brett, that's what we're out there for, call us. We'll give you the right ruling and then you'll keep on playing, and not have a disqualification like what happened."

Q. They kept saying it was on the sheet that they were building houses.

TONY WALLIN: If you get a local rule notice to competitor sheet from next door, if they have got a copy in there, I guarantee you there is no mention of any houses or anything. Not only that, there are no houses in that area left of 6. The houses don't start until way up on the left on 7. So I don't know where they were reading that because it's not on there, nothing at all mentioned houses. That, I'll guarantee you.

Q. So had Billy played the provisional ball and his ball was out of bounds, he's fine?

TONY WALLIN: That's correct.

Q. Their interpretation was that the ball was out of bounds?

TONY WALLIN: Right, correct. And I don't know if it's true, but apparently somebody very close to Billy is the one that brought it to the attention of the marshals, who then brought it to the attention of the rules staff. How true that is, I don't know.

So, yeah, I don't know, other than whenever there is a doubt like that, the player, they should call for a ruling. That's what we're there for.

Q. So you found out from the marshals then?

TONY WALLIN: Right. The call came in that Billy Andrade had played or his original ball was not out of bounds, he had picked it up, played his provisional, and by the time we got there, he had already finished the hole I guess, and the next thing we knew, our official talked to him and the next thing we knew, he was disqualified.

Q. Where did your official talk to him on the 7th?

TONY WALLIN: I believe he talked to him, I'm not positive, I think it was after they had played the 7th hole. So it was

Q. After 17?

TONY WALLIN: Correct. The damage was already done. There was no going back at that point.

Q. Where does he own it, after he tees off on 7? Even if you finish the hole

TONY WALLIN: If he finishes the hole and is walking to the tee, everything is fine until he tees off on the next hole. Or if it had to have been let's say it was the 18th hole, if he had walked off the putting green after holing out; once you step off the putting green, if it were the 18th hole. But anywhere else on the course, you have to see off on the next hole.

DAVE SENKO: Thanks, Tony.

End of FastScripts.

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