In what may be one of the first instances of the “Modernized” 2019 Rules of Golf coming into play…
Webb Simpson was searching for his ball in the weeds short of the fifth green Saturday at Kapalua when he stepped on a clump of grass and out popped the ball. Five days ago, he would have had to add one shot to his score.
Under the new Rules of Golf, he put it back where it was without penalty.
Under new Rule 7.4:
There is no penalty if the player’s ball is accidentally moved by the player, opponent or anyone else while trying to find or identify it.
If this happens, the ball must be replaced on its original spot (which if not known must be estimated)…
Just remember that you have to replace the ball, even if you’re not 100% certain exactly where it was or how it lay.