A "hungover" David Feherty once got one of the oddest penalties in PGA Tour history

January 30, 2020

David Cannon

We've seen some crazy penalties on the PGA Tour through the years, but David Feherty may have incurred the funniest one. Not that he found it amusing at the time.

On the eve of the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open, the NBC/Golf Channel analyst hosted a media roundtable in which he was asked about the time he was penalized for not using a proper ball marker. Without one—or apparently, even a coin—on him, Feherty instead used his hotel room key on the green during an unspecified Houston Open. And, well, here's how he tells it:

"Vaughn Moise gave me the penalty," Feherty recalled. "At the time we were playing the Houston Open and I, when I teed off that morning I was a little unprepared, to say the least, and confused, maybe slightly hungover."

Go on …

"I didn't have a marker with me, so I had this hotel, it was actually—when they gave you a key rather than the damn cards that we get now, and that's all I had in my pocket," Feherty continued. "And I used it to mark my ball and I can't remember how it came about, but Vaughn Moise, he sort of became aware of this and he came over and said, 'You can't do that. It's got to be a disk,' it's got to be whatever it was at the time. Now you can mark your ball with an elephant turd. It doesn't make any difference. But back then it was a penalty. Yeah. That's all of that story."

Geez, Vaughn. What's the big deal? Cut the guy a little slack.

According to Feherty, he hadn't broken an official rule, but rather a PGA Tour rule. And he's right about the ball markers today. Those huge poker chips are absurd.

This was obviously a long time ago if hotels were still giving out actual keys. Did you have to borrow an actual key to get into the fitness center too? Did they even have hotel fitness centers back then? Regardless, Twitter definitely wasn't around for this. Too bad.