by Jeff Skinner
Over the past few weeks we have all seen some strange dealings with the rules of golf. Dustin Johnson’s poor play in the bunker at The PGA, Juli Inkster’s donut and Sarah Brown getting pulled off the course for her grooves made us shake our heads and ask ”What the heck is going on here?” Now The PGA Tour gets in the act with the “rules violation of the year.”
Jim Furyk gets disqualified for missing his Pro-Am tee time and is out of The Barclays. Talk about killing a mosquito with a bazooka! The rule is the rule, but the penalty is way out of line. We all understand how important the Pro-Ams are to the tour, the sponsors and the charities. It’s a chore that some of the pro’s hate while others embrace but they all tolerate it. To be removed from the tournament is much too severe a penalty.
The difference with this rule is that it isn’t a USGA, written in cement, passed on through the years rule. This is a rule made by the PGA Tour and who is the PGA Tour? It’s the Players themselves of course. How these guys ever let this rule take effect is bewildering. Fine the guy, make him play in the next three Pro-Ams, put Vaseline in his Foot Joys, anything, but don’t disqualify him. As Phil Mickelson points out who does this help? The sponsors want the players to play in the tournament. The amateurs in the Pro-Am want the players to play. The fans pay to see the players and the players are there to play. “If you’re going to have a rule that does not apply to everybody because not everybody played the pro-am, you cannot have it affect the competition,” Mickelson said. “…It applies to only half the field and yet it affects the integrity of the competition.”
The disqualification definitely effects the competition and to be penalized for something that essentially took place off the course is just wrong. The players better get control of the tour and make a change. It’s too late for Furyk who handled it well and is a true gentleman but for the next poor soul that hits the tee five minutes late there needs to be a different penalty.