Rules Controversies
March 31, 2020

Mini-tour event features mass DQs after golfers play from the wrong tee

Incredibly, even amid a global pandemic that has essentially shut down the golf world along with most of the planet, we can still count on one thing. There will be rules controversies.

As we've documented the past couple weeks, mini-tour events in some areas of the country have continued. And on Tuesday, this circuit featured one of the most unusual brushes with the rules book we've seen in some time.

In the first round of the Verrado Founders Championship, 14 players—or nearly a quarter of the 60-man field—were disqualified for playing from the wrong set of tees on one hole. Thanks to Ryan French (Twitter's Monday Q Info) for bringing this bizarre situation to our attention:

To be clear, those golfers in violation played from a longer yardage, so they clearly weren't trying to gain an edge on the competition. Nevertheless, it's not allowed and the penalty is pretty clear. And as one player pointed out, the tee markers are pretty clear as well.

Here's a look at all the DQs at the bottom of the leader board:

outlaw-dqs.png

There are a couple of familiar names on there in Monday qualifier legend T.J. Vogel and Cody Blick, the man who earned his Korn Ferry Tour card a couple years back by shooting 63 after his golf clubs were stolen. So these are some serious players involved.

If this sort of thing sounds familiar it's probably because something similar happened at the 2018 Oregon high school state golf tournament. A dozen high school golfers were disqualified, although in that case, they had teed off from a shorter distance.

Back to the Outlaw Tour, here's how one player summed up the situation:

And here's a statement from the tournament director:

200331-outlaw-statement.jpg

Whether you agree with the tour's Sheriff (how perfect?) or hate the rule or both, there's no debating the decision proved costly to those affected. According to the Outlaw Tour's website, the three-day event cost $775 for pros to enter as a tour member, a number that jumps to $875 for non-members. Just another reason to be extra careful when playing golf these days.


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