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14/1.5 Intent to Strike Ball Ceases During Downswing; Club Not Stopped But Path of Clubhead Altered to Avoid Striking Ball
Q. A player begins his downswing with the intention of striking the ball but decides during the downswing not to strike the ball. The player is unable to stop the club before it reaches the ball, but he is able to swing intentionally over the top of the ball. Is the player deemed to have made a stroke?
A. No. The player has checked his downswing voluntarily by altering the path of his downswing and missing the ball even though the swing carried the clubhead beyond the ball.
However, any doubt in such a case must be resolved against the player. If, for example, the clubhead struck the ball there would be insufficient evidence to support a claim that the player had not made a stroke.