Justin Rose
USA Today Images
Justin Rose was involved in a rules debate Saturday concerning whether his ball moved at address.

PGA Tour officials required slow-motion replay and high-definition television screens to determine whether Justin Rose's ball moved as he was about to address it Saturday during third-round action at The Players Championship. Did the ball move when he was lining up for his chip? Officials first docked him two strokes, then changed their minds Sunday morning, citing the new decision that went into effect on Jan. 1 dealing with situations "not easily discernible to the naked eye."

ROSE'S PENALTY RESCINDED: PGA Tour officials rely on Decision 18/4

But when you're playing a round at your local course, it's up to you and your partners to know Rule 18-2b and its consequences. According to Bryan Jones, co-vice chairman of the PGA Rules Committee, the rule is really pretty simple to remember: "Address the ball, ball moves, replace the ball, one-stroke penalty."

Here's the actual language from the rule book concerning what to do in that specific situation:

"If a player’s ball in play moves after he has addressed it (other than as a result of a stroke), the player is deemed to have moved the ball and incurs a penalty of one stroke.

MORE ON DECISION 18/4: "Visual evidence" rule to take effect Jan. 1

"The ball must be replaced, unless the movement of the ball occurs after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made.

"Exception: If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b does not apply."

For example, you set your club behind the ball and it rolls from its position -- whether you touched it or not -- that's a violation of Rule 18-2b. That's because "the player is 'deemed' to have caused this movement," Jones said.

GOLF GLOSSARY: A dictionary of terms, from A to Z

So whether you're playing stroke play or match play, that's a one-stroke penalty. But what does the rule mean by "replacing" the ball? Jones said you have two options, depending on the situation.

"Remember, replace can mean place or drop," Jones said. "If the previous location of the ball is precisely known, it is placed back in that spot. If not, it is dropped. The exception is on the putting green, where it is always placed."

Interestingly enough, if the ball moves because of gravity, it is considered a violation of Rule 18-2b. Replace the ball, take the penalty. If the ball rolls backwards at address and is stopped by the clubhead, that's also covered under Rule 18-2b. Replace the ball, take the penalty. 

There are some exceptions. For example, if the ball moves in a bunker without being affected by the player's stance or approach to the ball, that's not a penalty. And if the ball only wobbles and remains in its original position, Decision 18/2 says there's no penalty and no need to replace. We've seen "oscillation" brought up in tournament play in the past.

Jones calls Rule 18-2b a "default" rule.

"A couple of other examples are Rule 16-2 which 'deems' a ball that is overhanging the hole to be 'at rest' after 10 seconds even if it is still moving," Jones said. "And Rule 27-1c, Ball not found after 5 minutes, 'deems' a ball love after a five-minute search even if it is found and identified by the player at five minutes and one second."

So even without TV cameras and instant replay, you should be able to determine conclusively if you've run afoul of Rule 18-2b and what to do about it. 

 

What to do when your ball moves at address
Ian MacGregor and Joel Sjoholm
Joel Sjoholm via Twitter
European Tour player Joel Sjoholm shared this photo of him with caddie Ian MacGregor, saying "R.I.P my dear Mac! Way too young! This going to be a tough evening!"

Several generations of European Tour players reacted with shock and sadness on Sunday at the news that veteran caddie Ian MacGregor died while caddying for Scotland's Alistair Forsyth at the Madeira Islands Open.

MacGregor, 52, of Zimbabwe, died of apparent heart attack on the ninth hole at Santa da Serra during the second and final round of the tournament, which had been reduced to 36 holes by fog.

Play continued in the wake of MacGregor's death, prompting a variety of opinion on social media from players and spectators who thought the event should have been cancelled. However, European Tour officials consulted with players and caddied before deciding to hold a minute of silence before finishing up, and Forsyth himself agreed with the call.

"I felt that was what Mac would have wanted," Forsyth said. "He was a guy I've known for 15 years and he was very popular amongst the caddies. 

"Obviously my thoughts go out to his family. For something like that to happen so suddenly is so sad," he added. "He's far too young and he had no problem carrying bags around a golf course so I didn't see an awful lot wrong with him."

Players from legends like Gary Player to young professionals like Branden Grace took to social media to express their condolences at the loss of a caddie who Forsyth called "the life and soul of the caddies' lounge, a good laugh and nice guy."

Among those speaking up was former Senior PGA Champion Roger Chapman, who noted that the first time MacGregor caddied for him was right there ar Madeira. 

Here is a sample of their reactions:

Pablo Larrazabal: Very sad news coming from Madeira... All my thoughts are with Alastair Forsyth Caddie and his family... #RIP #DEP @EuropeanTour

Thomas Norret: RIP Mac! A great man! #verysad

Simon Khan: So sad to hear about Zim Mac great caddy and top bloke rip mate

Joel Sjoholm: R.I.P my dear Mac!Way to young! This going to be a tough evening!Died on the 9th fairway in Madeira!! 

Gary Player: RIP Big Mac. You will be missed. My condolences

Pablo Larrazabal: Ian MacGregor... What i am going to say... Great guy, good laugh, a proper Zim,... Rest in peace buddy... #prayingforyou #RIP

Richie Ramsay: Sad news of Mac passing in Madeira #RIPmac

Paul Lawrie: One of the caddies ian Mcgregor (mac) died on the course today in Madeira while working for al forsyth , great guy RIP my friend

Branden Grace: RIP big Mac....what a guy!! You'll be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Matthew Baldwin: Can't believe what I have heard from Madeira today. RIP to a top man, Mac.

Mikko Ilonen: Sad news from Madeira.. RIP Mac

Soren Hansen: I was full of joy after today but now in tears after the news of Zim Mac. He was a top bloke with an incredible life story. Rip my friend...

Roger Chapman: So sad to hear Ian Mac has died. Sadly missed. Caddied for me. The first time was of all places, Madeira. RIP mate #topbloke

Maarten Lafeber: Very sad to hear that caddy Ian McGregor died today at the 9th hole in Madeira! He caddied 3 weeks ago for me at the NH Collection Open.

Gary Boyd: RIP Mac you always put a smile on peoples faces you will be truely missed mate

Oliver Wilson: Terrible news about Zim Mac in Madeira. One of the nicest guys out there & always brightened your day. RIP Pal

Thomas Pieters: Roger and myself will miss you greatly Mac. Such a great person passed today who will be missed by the whole tour. #RIPMac

 

 

 

European Tour players express sadness at on-course death of caddie Ian MacGregor
Elin Nordegren graduated from Rollins College
Courtesy of Rollins College
Elin Nordegren graduated from Rollins College on Saturday with a bachelor's degree in psychology.

Tiger Woods, still recovering from back surgery, had yet another weekend off. For Elin Nordegren – his ex-wife and the mother of his two children – this weekend will be one she never forgets.

Nordegren graduated from Rollins College on Saturday with a bachelor's degree in psychology, and she received the Hamilton Holt Outstanding Senior Award for her 3.98 grade point average. With that award came another honor – she got to give the commencement address.

"I have been called a 'woman with no words' in the media and criticized for not talking very much," Nordegren, for whom English is her second language, told People Magazine. So, she said, she was "a little scared" when she contemplated the idea of speaking in front of all her fellow graduates.

But she tackled her speech just like she tackled her education, and delivered a 12-minute address in which she spoke of her nine-year journey toward her degree – which included what she called "the wild storm of my personal life." 

Nordegren, now 34, began taking classes at Rollins – in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park – back in 2005, and took time off after the birth of each of her two children and again after her marriage fell apart. During her address, she thanked her classmates for their support. "When you told me stories about your full-time day jobs, about coming home to cook dinner for your families, and about making sure your children were cared for while you were attending classes, you inspired me," she said.

She also made a joke about suddenly and unexpected becoming the focus of worldwide attention soon after she finished a course called Communication and the Media. "I probably should have taken more notes in that class," she said.

Nordegren discussed her career and more in a Q&A on the Rollins College website. And you can see her entire address right here:

 

 
Elin Nordegren graduates from college, delivers commencement address
May 10, 2014 - 5:18pm
mark.aumann's picture
Two Rivers Golf Club
Rodd Slater/Twitter
PGA professional Rodd Slater gives a preschooler some putting tips during a field trip.

Want to grow the game? Expose kids to golf at an early age.

That's the thought of PGA professional Rodd Slater, head pro at Two Rivers Golf Club in Dakota Dunes, S.D. He recently invited preschoolers to a field trip at his course, where he showed them how to putt and swing at balls.

PLAY GOLF AMERICA: Learn more about the game

You think they had fun? Check out Rodd's tweets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at those photos, two things come to mind:

1. The future of golf is in good hands

2. Spring is taking its sweet time getting to South Dakota.

2015 DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT CHAMPIONSHIP: Register for local qualifying events

Play Golf America for preschoolers
Rickie Fowler and Caleb Watson
Rickie Fowler via Twitter
Caleb Watson doesn't look like he's all into Rickie Fowler's style choices.

Rickie Fowler hit one of the shots of the week – an unlikely flop-shot chip-in for birdie – on Thursday at The Players Championship during his first-round 71, then followed that up with a steady 72 on Friday to enter the weekend tied for 52nd. But he was only getting warmed up.

Fowler, as he so often does, spent the evening with Bubba Watson and his family, and it looks like Bubba and wife Angie might have left him unsupervised a little too long.

First, Fowler shot a little video of Bubba's lifelike driver cover. That wasn't so bad. Then, however, he sat down with Watson's 2-year-old son, Caleb. And, well … you get a pretty good hint in the photo above. Click on the Instagram link in Fowler's tweet to see the whole picture.

 

 

 

Rickie Fowler plays dress-up with a somewhat reluctant Caleb Watson
Marie Kozjar
Getty Images
Marie Kojzar married Adam Scott about a year after they got back together.

Adam Scott, very likely golf's most eligible bachelor and certainly the favorite of just about every golf-loving woman I know, is off the market. Scott revealed to the Australian Associated Press that he and longtime girlfriend Marie Kojzar got hitched in a private ceremony on April 17 – the Thursday after the Masters.

"It's official," Scott told the AAP. "I am a settled down man and very happy." 

The ceremony took place at Scott's residence in the Bahamas, with only a few friends and family members in attendance. And if you're thinking that you must've missed the engagement announcement – well, there wasn't one. The couple never officially got engaged, Scott said.

"We just decided to get on with it," he explained. "We've known each other long enough, let's go and jump right in the deep end. It was just our family and a few friends and obviously there are a lot of people we would have liked to have had there who weren't but we decided to have a very low key affair. 

MORE WEDDING BELLS: Miguel Angel Jimenez gets married in style

"It was more about not building it up into something too big that may have gotten out of hand," he added. "But it was a fun event for everyone who was there and hopefully we will have fun celebrating with other friends when we catch up with them." 

Kojzar, a 32-year-old architect from Sweden, dated the 33-year-old Scott for several years in the 2000s before they split up for a few years. They reunited last year, Scott said after he won the 2013 Masters – when, you might remember, he turned down a chance to be on "The Bachelor" because he and Kojzar were back together. 

The couple hasn't shared wedding photos yet, but Scott said the ceremony was casual – she wore a "non-traditional" dress, while he wore a suit with bow tie. 

"We dressed up a little bit," he said, "but it was still in the backyard."

 

Adam Scott got married after the Masters to girlfriend Marie Kojzar