Question:-A player unable to find her ball after a brief search drops another ball (Ball B) under Rule 27-1 and plays it. Her original ball is then found within five minutes after search for it began. The player lifted Ball B and continued play with the original ball. Was this correct?
Answer:- No. When the player put the substituted ball into play at the spot of the previous stroke with the intent to play under Rule 27-1, she proceeded under an applicable Rule. Therefore, Rule 20-6 does not apply, and she must continue with the substituted ball (see Decision 27-1/2). The original ball was lost when Ball B was dropped under Rule 27-1 (see Definition of “Lost Ball”)
When the player lifted Ball B, she incurred a penalty of one stroke under Rule 18-2a. When she made a stroke with the original ball after it was out of play, she played a wrong ball (see Definitions of “Ball in Play” and “Wrong Ball”) and incurred a penalty of loss of hole in match play or an additional penalty of two strokes in stroke play (Rule 15-3). In stroke play, the player would be disqualified if, before playing from the next teeing ground, she did not correct her error (Rule 15-3b).