Turning Stone Resort CEO Ray Halbritter won't embarrass himself after all, at least any more than he already did by awarding himself a sponsor exemption for the Turning Stone Resort Championship this week in Vernon, N.Y.
Halbritter, 60, citing the controversy, has announced he is rescinding his exemption and won't play. The Albany Times-Union had this statement from Halbritter:
"My intention in qualifying to be eligible to play in our Turning Stone Resort Championship was to participate in a competitive opportunity which any golfer would enjoy. In addition, given the responsibilities of my position as I mentioned in some interviews on the exemption issue, I wanted to use the platform afforded by our event to show the public, particularly American Indian youth, what can be accomplished by someone with a challenging background who puts his mind and heart into it.
"My goal was to celebrate, not detract from, our wonderful tournament, its players and fans. The focus this week should be on the great game of golf and enjoying the exciting competition on the course. I do not want my participation to distract from our Championship and the talented professionals who have chosen to compete here.
"So, I have decided to withdraw from my place in the field and to award it to another golfer to play this week. I hope our golf community will join me in celebrating a terrific week of golf and all of the fun and festivities which our team has worked so hard to present for them here at Turning Stone."
Halbritter passed the PGA of America's Playing Ability Test and claims a 2 handicap, which in this league likely meant rounds in the 80s and possibly 90s.
-- John Strege