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mvmac

Player survives First stage of Q-school but calls PGA TOUR office to Disqualify Himself

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Three weeks ago Blayne Barber, 22, a talented up and coming player was on track to the PGA Tour.  On Oct 27th at the Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., he signed his scorecard for a final-round 66 at the first stage of PGA TOUR Qualifying School.

During the round Barber was in a greenside bunker that a leaf embedded in it.  Barber thought his sand wedge might have brushed the leaf during his backswing. This would have been a violation of Rule 13-4c against touching a loose impediment in a hazard.  The only other person that might have seen what happened was his brother and caddie Shayne -- who said he had watched the swing and saw no such contact between club and leaf.  He decided to assess himself a one stroke penally, the problem is, it's a two-stroke penalty.

Would you have made the same decision?

Quote:
"I just really wanted to be sure I was making a wise decision. I came to the point where I decided, 'I know that I hit that leaf.' Maybe I was trying to convince myself otherwise because Shayne was standing there watching. Finally, I believed I did touch it, and I called the wrong penalty on myself. So I wanted to live up to that and make it right and learn from it."
Here's a good chunk of the article

Quote:

On Nov. 2, six days after attesting to the accuracy of his scorecard, he called the PGA TOUR office to disqualify himself. Like most life-changing decisions, Barber's was a complicated one that will be examined in detail here. The immediate ripple effects, though, are cut and dried, both for Barber and the six players who tied for 19th to miss by one stroke at Callaway Gardens only to then have their chances restored by Barber's disqualification.

Barber, a professing Christian whose Twitter account contains the self-description, "Sinner saved by grace alone," is playing in a NGA Tour event this week near Orlando. He opened with a round of 66 on Tuesday at the Harmony Golf Resort, finishing with five straight birdies.

"I did what I know was right," he said in an interview earlier this week. "This is between me and God and about doing the right thing and making sure I rectified this, for myself and for those other guys who made it through."

The "small" penalty in question came down to a little leaf embedded in a greenside bunker at the 13th hole during the second round. The leaf was standing vertically on end behind Barber's ball, which had come to rest a couple inches in front of it. As he tried to hit the shot, Barber thought his sand wedge may have brushed the leaf during his backswing. This would have been a violation of Rule 13-4c against touching a loose impediment in a hazard.

Barber was well aware of the rule, having seen the broadcast of the 2010 incident at Harbour Town Golf Links, when TOUR pro Brian Davis thought his club had brushed a loose blade of sawgrass during his backswing from a bunker adjacent to the 18th hole during a playoff with Jim Furyk . Davis immediately called it to the attention of TOUR official Slugger White, and a High-Def replay in the scoring trailer clearly showed a tiny movement of the grass. Davis was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

Unfortunately, there was not a rules official nearby at Callaway Gardens to inform Barber that the penalty for the infraction is two strokes. Over the disagreement of his brother and caddie Shayne -- who said he had watched the swing and saw no such contact between club and leaf -- Blayne notified his fellow competitors that he was assessing himself a penalty of one stroke.

Therein lies the mistake. Some purists, meaning those who can recite Rule 13-4c verbatim and think everyone else should also have it memorized -- along with rest of the rule book -- have assailed Barber for not knowing the penalty. Others have taken issue with his waiting until the tournament was over for a week before revealing to the TOUR what had transpired.

His explanation follows, verbatim: "There were just a lot of emotions going on. I'm trying to start my career and there was a lot of pressure in the situation and it seems like a big, enormous moment. So there was that doubt going back and forth in my mind, 'Did I touch it? Did I not touch it? Shayne says I didn't; I feel like I might have.'

"And I just kept going back and forth, and I didn't want to make a decision one way or another on an uncertainty. I didn't want to stake everything on my being 70 percent sure or whatever the case may be. I just wrestled with it over and over, sought a lot of counsel from other people around me and talked it through multiple times".

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Who would play tournament golf at any level without a rulebook in the bag? A simple check would have made all the difference. A rules official should have been nearby, but still. No one expects every player to memorize every rule, but you should know most of them and carry the damn pocket rulebook.

You don't need a glove or visor or magnetic bracelet to play golf, yet you never see a player go back to the car to get a rulebook, even though it can save your ass in competition.

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He did the right thing. Nothing more-nothing less. I believe that Bobby Jones said when he was praised after calling a penalty on himself when only he saw the infraction, that they might as well reward him for NOT robbing a bank.

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In this day it's refreshing to see someone respect the rules and apply them even when the penalty is so severe (DQ).  In Bobby Jones day people were more honorable so cheating was the exception to the rule, I don't believe that's the case today.  I have played in a few tournaments and outings and I'd doubt many would call such a penalty on themselves (some out of ignorance to the rule) if they thought they could get away with it.

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The question I have is why did he give himself the penalty if he was not sure he did it?  If he was sure he did it yes.  If he is not sure and he asked two other people who were near by and they said they saw nothing why call it?  Kinda sounds like falling on your sword for no reason to me.

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Not calling the penalty would have been fine. He would still be playing. But calling the penalty and then not doing it properly (2 strokes not 1) results in signing an inaccurate score card. His caddie and the other players should have helped him out though.

If you want to be judgmental, the guy is not very honorable.  He made a decision to assess the penalty. Once he made that choice, when he learned the penalty was 2 strokes not 1 he needed to DQ himself right away. None of this praying and sleeping on it crap.

Imagine though if one the 6 players who got in because of this DQ make it on to the PGA tour. That would be one lucky break.

Originally Posted by cipher

The question I have is why did he give himself the penalty if he was not sure he did it?  If he was sure he did it yes.  If he is not sure and he asked two other people who were near by and they said they saw nothing why call it?  Kinda sounds like falling on your sword for no reason to me.

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i definitely wouldn't have said anything.  i just think about the NFL where fumbles aren't really fumbles, stepping out of bounds didn't really happen, and a slew of other rules get discarded because of an improper call.  it happens in sports, that's how it goes.  calling it on yourself is just silly.  if an official didn't make the call and see it happen, it didn't.  if people think that's a dumb philosophy to apply to golf, well then they need to hire more officials.  if players were in charge of deciding their own rules the NFL would turn into MMA in the first quarter.  golf shouldn't be an exception.

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The NFL isn't golf, in the NFL  there are referees who's job it is to enforce the rules and make these calls. Golf holds its participants to a higher standard that the other pro sports.  If you don't understand the moral and ethical obligation one has to playing the game by the rules then you're missing out on a big part of what golf is about imo.

Originally Posted by tuffluck

i definitely wouldn't have said anything.  i just think about the NFL where fumbles aren't really fumbles, stepping out of bounds didn't really happen, and a slew of other rules get discarded because of an improper call.  it happens in sports, that's how it goes.  calling it on yourself is just silly.  if an official didn't make the call and see it happen, it didn't.  if people think that's a dumb philosophy to apply to golf, well then they need to hire more officials.  if players were in charge of deciding their own rules the NFL would turn into MMA in the first quarter.  golf shouldn't be an exception.

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What I don`t get is why it is a two stroke penalty? http://thesandtrap.com/t/37968/grounding-a-club-in-a-water-hazard-question#post_784985  I think his club likely did in fact touch the leaf, or at least he sure thought so, otherwise he wouldn`t have called the penalty on himself in the first place.  But how does grounding a club in a hazard or touching a loose impediment help a player by more than a shot?  Obviously, nobody in his group, including his caddie knew off the top of their head that this was a 2 shot penalty.

Very honorable for him to call the penalty in the first place and DQ himself later but it is a shame that he didn`t know the correct penalty.  Another case of the rules being complex and non-intuitive.  That doesn`t excuse him for not double checking before signing his card, but I do think the game could be improved by making the rules more simple and intuitive.

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Originally Posted by x129

If you want to be judgmental, the guy is not very honorable.  He made a decision to assess the penalty. Once he made that choice, when he learned the penalty was 2 strokes not 1 he needed to DQ himself right away. None of this praying and sleeping on it crap.

That's like saying someone is not very honorable for only saving 19 out of 20 children from a burning building.

To expect someone to make a decision of that magnitude without putting some thought into it is simply unrealistic.  He did the right thing despite massive consequences and should be universally praised for doing so.

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Originally Posted by x129

Not calling the penalty would have been fine. He would still be playing. But calling the penalty and then not doing it properly (2 strokes not 1) results in signing an inaccurate score card. His caddie and the other players should have helped him out though.

If you want to be judgmental, the guy is not very honorable.  He made a decision to assess the penalty. Once he made that choice, when he learned the penalty was 2 strokes not 1 he needed to DQ himself right away. None of this praying and sleeping on it crap.

I agree that there's a little bit of this. Why did he wait? Did he contemplate just getting away with it? DId the fact that someone might mention it later on weigh on him?

I'm not saying the praise is universally wrong, but it's definitely not universally right, IMO, either. Ultimately the guy did the right thing, but why did it take him so long?

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In the end he did the right thing, that should be all that counts, I think. It looks like he could have gotten away with it, but he realized he was wrong and made it right.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I agree that there's a little bit of this. Why did he wait? Did he contemplate just getting away with it? DId the fact that someone might mention it later on weigh on him?

I'm not saying the praise is universally wrong, but it's definitely not universally right, IMO, either. Ultimately the guy did the right thing, but why did it take him so long?

Did the article say how long he took to decide AFTER finding out it was a 2 stroke penalty instead of the 1 stroke that he immediately assessed on himself?  I saw that it was 6 days after the event that he made the call to DQ himself and that he slept on it, etc. but did not notice if it said exactly when he realized the mistake.

Originally Posted by mchepp

In the end he did the right thing, that should be all that counts, I think. It looks like he could have gotten away with it, but he realized he was wrong and made it right.

I disagree with this a bit...2 of the 6 guys that found out after the fact that they had advanced to stage 2 instead of missing by a shot are back in Europe and withdrew from the 2nd stage.  For a journeyman European pro, last minute flights across the pond might not be cheap.

There was a case I read about a CO golfer who DQed himself something like 30 years later for signing a wrong card in a junior tourny...better late than never, but better yet to do the right thing at the time.

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That part is left off in all the reports. It would be one thing to learn at 9pm that you scored it wrong and call the next morning. It would be another to learn that in the parking lot and wait 6 days to come forward because after 5 days you have decided you can't live with being a cheater.

Quote:

Did the article say how long he took to decide AFTER finding out it was a 2 stroke penalty instead of the 1 stroke that he immediately assessed on himself?  I saw that it was 6 days after the event that he made the call to DQ himself and that he slept on it, etc. but did not notice if it said exactly when he realized the mistake.

I disagree with this a bit...2 of the 6 guys that found out after the fact that they had advanced to stage 2 instead of missing by a shot are back in Europe and withdrew from the 2nd stage.  For a journeyman European pro, last minute flights across the pond might not be cheap.

There was a case I read about a CO golfer who DQed himself something like 30 years later for signing a wrong card in a junior tourny...better late than never, but better yet to do the right thing at the time.

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