Question: Playing in a stroke play tournament, tee shots landed in the fairway. All three members of the group are playing the same brand of ball. The conditions are under lift, clean, and place. Player one picks up player two’s ball which is covered in mud. As he is cleaning it he notices it is not his ball and places it in the vicinity of the original spot. Is there a penalty?

Answer: In a stroke play event, the individual players are outside influences to each other, so there is no penalty on player one in this situation.  We will just need to get the ball back on the estimated spot from where it was moved, then player 2 can lift clean and place the ball. 

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Todd Stice is our in-house Rules of Golf Expert. You can learn more about Todd here.