Agreed but if there is nothing around the penalty area other than rough and fairway it would be hard for someone to find “cause” to play a provisional ball, agreed?
Don’t you need “cause” to put a provisional ball into play. I played with a guy a few months ago who hit a ball down the right side of the fairway. He said he was going to hit a provisional ball in case his ball was lost. He probably hit five provisional balls that round.
The rules are kind of vague, from the Interpretations:
“only the information that is known by the player at that time is considered” (in determining whether to put a provisional ball into play)
“A player believes the original ball came to rest in the general area and it MIGHT be lost”