by Jeff Skinner
Jeff Overton was disqualified from the Crowne Plaza Invitational yesterday for using a putting aid during the course of his round. With a long backup on the tenth hole Overton went to a practice area nearby and proceeded to putt with an alignment stick as an aid.
Tournament officials were alerted to Overton’s misdeed by a fellow competitor and after conferring with Overton on the eleventh hole told him he was disqualified.
According to the rules of golf players are forbidden from using “unusual equipment” during a round, even if a player is just practicing their swing.
Here’s 14-3/10.3 in the Rules of Golf Decisions:
Q. During a stipulated round, a player uses a rod to check his alignment or his swing plane. What is the ruling?
A. The player is disqualified under Rule 14-3 as the rod is unusual equipment and such use, during the stipulated round, is not permitted. Carrying the rod is not, of itself, a breach of a Rule.
No one is ever going to say the rules of golf are simple or for that matter forgiving. Overton isn’t the first and won’t be the last player to be DQ’d for violating a rule he really didn’t understand. But he’s a professional and makes a pretty good buck playing golf. This is a rule he should know.
You can’t use anything but clubs and balls during a round. Didn’t he see Juli Inkster get bounced for swinging a club with a swing weight on it while she was backed up on the tee last season?
What’s even more disturbing is his childish reaction to his disqualification. As plenty of athletes do today when they want to complain Overton took to Twitter to vent.
”3 group back up at the turn. Rules official tells me we can practice chipping and putting. Disqualified for using my practice putting aid!”
”Why do rules officials initiate that conversation to begin with. I wouldn’t even have gone up there if I had know that. What a joke!”
”If ur gonna inform someone on a rule of something a person can do, make sure u remind them of the small things they can’t do”
“Tough break today. Looks like I gotta go back and rememorize a couple hundred pages of the usga rules book!”
Somebody get Jeff some cheese to go with that whine. Instead of taking his deserved punishment graciously he lets the rules official have it. And then complains about the rules.
Sounds like a bunch of sour grapes to me. It’s easy to point the finger at someone else or moan about the rules. But it’s your job…you should know what you can and can’t do.
Isn’t Jeff aware how saying something wrong or controversial can stick with you for awhile? With everything going on in golf lately he should. Maybe he should hold off on the tweets and pick up a rule book.