Rules incident with my buddy Paul Araujo


I have for the past three years – for some reason – always played against Paul Araujo of Country Club Limbe every time his club and mine – Blantyre Sports Club – played against each other in the traditional Captain’s Putter. This annual Match Play competition is by far older that I am.

Sadly for me, he has always whipped the hell out of me every time we have played.

First time we played, we lost on the 12th. You heard me right, hole 12. The following year I endured but still got painfully clobbered on my own turf on hole number 15. When we played this year, I managed to get to hole 18. It was a very tight game.


During this event, we were two down playing hole five. There was some thick bush on the right side about 15 metres to the green.

To my sides delight – God forbid – Paul pushed his ball into the thick rough. He reloaded a provisional ball and landed it very close to the pin. He knew it was a better ball to play and therefore declared his original ball lost and proceeded to play the provisional ball.

I knew that if we were to catch up I needed to find his original ball within five minutes so that he plays it and abandons the original. Paul, like many others argued that I had no right to look for his ball because he had every right to declare it lost and he did just that.


I said to the Chairperson of the National Junior Golf Committee Araujo that he could beat me in match play competitions but I refused to be beaten in the game of golf rules.

I found his ball and I forced him to play it. Just like I had predicted, he played three shots to come out of the thick bush, holed out for a triple bogey seven and while I ended up with a tap-in par.

On record, you have won three games Paul and I have clobbered you once. Do you know why? Read below:

“Question: A player, having searched for a minute for his original ball abandoned it and walked forward to continue play with his provisional ball. Before he played the provisional ball, some spectator found the original ball before the five-minutes search period expired. What is the ruling?

“Answer: The original ball remained in play since it was found within five minutes after search for it begun and the player had not played a stroke with the provisional ball from the place where the original ball was likely to be or from a point nearer the hole than that place (Rule 27-2b). – Decision 27-2/6”

Allow me to adjourn this matter to next week.

The Author is an Apprentice Member of the Professional Golfers Association of South Africa and an R&A Certified Referee and Tournament Administrator. Feedback: +265 888 346 510/dingaank@

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