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Major champion involved in rules blunder, gets penalty for being late for tee time

May 01, 2021

Four months into 2021, there have been no shortage of rules-related stories coming out of pro tour events. Just two days ago, our Christopher Powers, chronicled 17 headline-creating issues from the start of the year. And that number is only climbing after Scott Harrington was DQ’d from the Valspar Championship on Friday for signing an incorrect scorecard.

As it turns out, Harrington wasn’t the only PGA Tour pro who ran afoul with the rules on Friday at Innisbrook Resort.

As Jimmy Walker references in this Instgram post, he was involved in an unusual Rules situation regarding his tee time. Walker was to tee off on the first hole at 7:39 a.m. on Friday for his second round. He was on the range getting ready for the round when a rules official told him he had one minute to get to the tee. Exactly why Walker was running late wasn’t clear. He subsequently got to the tee late for his time and was assessed a two-shot penalty under Rule 5.3a.

“Thirty years in tourney golf and that’s a first,” Walker notes in his Instagram post.

In a sense, Walker was fortunate to only get docked two shots. Had he missed the time by more than five minutes, he would have been disqualified.

The penalty gave Walker a double-bogey 7 on his first hole and put him up against it in terms of trying to make the cut. To his credit, Walker regrouped nicely, making five birdies on his last 13 holes to shoot at two-under 69 and make the cut on the number with a one-under 141.

Walker tees off in his third round at 9:25 a.m., playing with J.T. Poston. We're guessing he'll be plenty early for his Saturday tee time.