News & ToursJune 26, 2009

Azinger DQ'd for playing Callaway ball not on conforming list

After the first round of the Travelers Championship, Paul Azinger was disqualified for using a Callaway ball not on the List of Conforming Golf Balls.

Not that there was anything actually wrong with the ball itself. Rather, on May 21, Callaway Golf sent out a communiqué stating it was asking the USGA to take it's Tour i ball that had a sidestamp with a single dot to each side of the words "Tour i" (for our purposes we will call this the Tour i single dot) off the List of Conforming Golf Balls because a small number of them had be found to exceed the USGA's weight limit. At the time, Callaway said it was introducing a new ball with a pair of dots to the side of the words "Tour i" to take its place.

Like with most things that seem simple, however, this one got complicated. Azinger used the ball at the Transitions Championship in Tampa (his last previous PGA Tour event and a time when the ball still was legal) and still had some in his bag. After his round, a two-under-par 68, Azinger realized he might have an issue and contacted PGA Tour officials who informed him that the ball was not on the conforming list, thus requiring a disqualification.

This is not the first time a PGA Tour player has been disqualified for playing a ball with a bad stamping. In fact, it's not the first time it has happened at Hartford. After two rounds of the 1996 event in Hartford, Greg Norman disqualified himself when he realized a Maxfli ball he had been using was stamped "XS-9" when the ball that was on the conforming list was marked "XS-90."

--* E. Michael Johnson*

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