September 19, 2016
During the second round of the Albertsons Boise Open, Scott Stallings found his tee shot on the 293-yard, drivable par-4 15th hole buried deep in the face of the front greenside bunker. After playing his second shot from the bunker, Scott looked down and saw a ball lying near where he had just struck the sand, but it was not his ball.
Scott immediately waved me over and explained what happened. He was clearly concerned that he may have incurred a penalty, but fortunately Decision 15/2 (Player’s Stroke at Own Ball Dislodges Concealed Ball) covers this situation. Because Scott played a stroke with his own ball and not the hidden ball, Rule 15-3 (Wrong Ball) is not applicable and he must play his ball as it lies.
Furthermore, had Scott discovered the abandoned ball prior to making his stroke, he would have been entitled to lift and remove the ball with no penalty as an abandoned ball in a bunker is a movable obstruction.