I’ll Give Him Points For Hanging In There
Rounds played at Pebble Beach are known to take 6 hours thanks to tourists from the far East excessively taking pictures and chopping it around the course trying to get their money’s worth. Rounds played at Pebble Beach during the Crosby Clam Bake aren’t much faster, especially when played in the shit weather rolling through the Monterey Peninsula on Friday. 2011 Pebble Champ, D.A. Points, was grinding through his round when he found himself in the midst of a 2o to 30 minutes wait on the 18th tee. He and amateur partner Condi Rice talked to the fans and posed for pictures to kill time. In an attempt to get his mind back on his game Points also had a chat with his ironically named swing coach Grant Waite during his delay.
Waite tossed a sponge-like orb to Points and D.A. placed it under his arm making practice swings while waiting for the fairway ahead of him to clear. He knocked his next shot out of bounds, re-teed, and continued grinding for a bogey 6 in the midst of a hard wind and rain that nearly blew the flag stick to the ground.
Having already being delayed on the course, Points left Pebble in a hurry to meet family for dinner after signing his scorecard. He neglected to register for next week’s event in L.A. in his haste to make dinner. While dinning Points was called by tour officials who let him know the spongy ball he swung with was being called a ‘teaching device’ which can’t be used during play. Because Points had signed for a lower score and the penalty hadn’t been assessed before he signed, he was now disqualified from the Pro portion of the AT&T.
D.A. will still be allowed to tee it up Saturday to compete in the Pro-Am event, but his score won’t count for the PGA Tour part of the tourney going forward. In essence, if Condi is in with a four and he’s got a 5 footer for four, he can just fucking pick it up. That’s a shitty break for Points, but he owned up to the mistake and realizes he should know better. He’s the pro, he has to know the rules. Waite should know better too, he played on tour some years ago himself.
I’m sure Condi is glad Points didn’t abandon her in her quest to make the cut. I’m also sure 99% of the tour would do the same just to make sure they didn’t piss off the sponsor, you know, in case they ever lose their card and need a sponsor’s exemption. Can you imagine if this happened to Tiger or Rory Sabbatini? With Tiger, CBS would probably make some phone calls to be sure that he was allowed to amend his scorecard (*cough* like the Masters *cough*) before he was DQ’d. If he actually did get the DQ there’s just no way he’d play, not even for Condi. Sabbatini might have started a slap fight with the tour official that DQ’d him. For Points, not only will his play-for-no-pay round please the sponsor, but it’ll probably give him a golden ticket to bring some friends to Augusta some time outside of the Masters Tournament. Condi kind of owes him one doesn’t she?
Rules Are Rules
Of all the idiotic and archaic rules of golf to break and get DQ’d for….well, there’s too many to chose from. This is just the latest in a long line of professional golfer faux pas (barely beating Karrie Webb’s errant scorecard DQ in Oz earlier today). I’m not asking for any exceptions to be made. I think there should be penalties for violations like this. The harsh part of this is that there’s nothing Points can do about it because he doesn’t know he committed an infraction. The event isn’t over, no cut has been made. What would be the harm in assessing 2 strokes to Points and amending his card? There isn’t one. Everyone wins. He’s still penalized and the rules are still intact.
The ripple effect gets a little bigger when you look further into it. Points is about 75th in the OWGR as of today. If he makes the cut at Pebble he could make a top 10 with a good weekend and move up a few spots. Those extra ranking points might have been enough to automatically put him in the field at Riviera next week (even though he missed registration), and another good appearance there could have placed him in the WGC Match Play field for a nice pay day. The penalty ends up being much more harsh than two shots. It’s 2014. Scorecard infractions might still happen, but the DQ for such issues should be disqualified from the rule book.