FanDuel - WFBC

August 11, 2007

Garcia Booted from PGA Championship for Incorrect Scorecard: Reinforcing golf's reputation as the only sport that tests your counting skills, Sergio Garcia was disqualified from the PGA Championship Saturday for signing a scorecard one shot lower than his actual round. "It's my fault for putting the wrong score in, but it's his fault for not checking," said playing partner Bo Weekly.

posted by rcade to golf at 04:54 PM - 38 comments

He was done after he left those two straight in the bunker yesterday. That, plus a 4-over today? Good weekend to catch a early flight home. And he can't even stick around to run his mouth regarding all the "breaks" he would have thought Tiger got this week.

posted by dyams at 06:18 PM on August 11

Am I the only person who doesn't understand why golf insists on sticking with this rather archaic system when the tournaments are fully televised? In a tournament like this, everyone knows what the damn score is, so why go through all the crap with scorecards? I'm sure they think it's quaint and all, but it serves no purpose other than to get someone disqualified like this. I'm surprised that almost 40 years after the 1968 Masters (where Roberto De Vicenzo signed an incorrect scorecard and was denied a playoff because of it...he was tied with Bob Goalby for the lead after 72 holes, but the rules dictated the written score superseded the actual score that everyone saw happen) that the PGA still hasn't figured out that the scorecard is no longer necessary and only screws things up like this. Thankfully, Garcia was out of it, anyway, so it's no great loss. But I wonder how long it will be before another major is decided by something like this. And how long it will take for the PGA to enter the 21st century when it comes to scorekeeping.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:18 PM on August 11

In a tournament like this, everyone knows what the damn score is, so why go through all the crap with scorecards? Apparently not. Don't blame the rule for Garcia's stupidity.

posted by budman13 at 02:15 AM on August 12

Just for that reason The Q, it's supposed to be a gentleman's game. If they didn't keep score for themselves and their opponents, who would? Who the hell nowadys doesnt lie on the couch flipping from station to station during a golf tournament? I have played golf with my friends (while drinking beer) where the object of the game was out-right lying!! Who really is to say what they scored aside from themselves? Keep a scorecard for you and compare it to the guy who tee's off next to you. And make damn sure the name you sign means that you were paying attention!!

posted by GoBirds at 07:05 AM on August 12

If they didn't keep score for themselves and their opponents, who would? Apparently someone is. Otherwise how did they know that Garcia's signed score was wrong?

posted by phreakydancin at 12:45 PM on August 12

Ooo. Good point. I'm with TheQ and phreaky: Stupid rule. Especially for pro tournaments. Stop the quaint charade and go to centralized scoring.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:48 PM on August 12

It's not the only sport were counting is a required skill as (IIRC) any fan of the University of Michigan basketball team will tell you. Baseball too, as any number of players have forgotten which out was the inning's third and football where very few weeks go by without at least one penalty for the wrong number of men on the field.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:08 PM on August 12

I don't know, I like the idea of the players having to keep track of their score, assess their own penalties etc. It means the players must know the rules and can't really argue when they screw up... which is what happened.

posted by oxocerite at 05:57 PM on August 12

To clarify, if it's the "Fats Domino Desert Classic" and it's not televised, that's one thing. But you can track any PGA event live online these days, which means that someone is watching every hole and keeping score. So there's just no need for a scorecard. As I said, the only purpose it serves is to get someone DQ'ed for screwing up. Second clarification: The rant above was not intended as a defense of Garcia. Yes, it is the rule, and it was his mistake. I'm not a fan of his, anyway. I just feel a bit bad for him in this case because he got tripped up by an unnecessary rule, though he is ultimately to blame.

posted by TheQatarian at 06:15 PM on August 12

When is the last time the official score keeper/Internet tracking counter/judge etc. was called out by a player for having the wrong score and the players score card proved the player was right?

posted by Aces Full at 07:46 PM on August 12

the only purpose it serves is to get someone DQ'ed for screwing up Nonsense. In a tennis match, there is one ball in play on a 7000 square foot playing surface. In a soccer match, there is one ball in play on an acre of playing surface. In a normal golf tournament at any one time there might be as many as a hundred balls in play on a course that is likely to cover at least 120 acres, if not more. Which is more practical - to have a referee assigned to follow each player, or to have the players police themselves and report each other's scores? At televised events, the TV company doesn't even record every single shot being hit by the leaders on the final day, let alone every single shot being hit by every single player throughout the tournament. Far from being an unnecessary rule, it's a very practical solution to a tricky logistical problem, and it has worked well for a couple of hundred years. As you mentioned, it cost De Vicenzo a shot at a green jacket - if anyone could be justified in calling the rule stupid, it's him - but his simple quote ("What a stupid I am!") says it all. The rule is simple and it's easy to adhere to; failing to do so made Roberto stupid, not the rule. From the player's point of view, I suspect that even if you changed the rules and told them that they no longer had to keep count of their own score, most of them still would. You can get a little boost not only from making a birdie, but also from recording it on your card. On the other hand, if you have a bad hole, you can consign it to history by writing down your score and forgetting about it. If there's anything worth talking about in the story rcade links to it's whether or not Sergio knew what he was doing - maybe he saw the mistake and just didn't fancy any more golf (meaningless golf, given his score) in that heat. Or maybe he didn't. Either way, as dyams pointed out, it's nice not to have to spend this post-major Monday reading about how it was fate and circumstance that cost him his first major... again. Didn't Monty used to play that tune rather a lot?

posted by JJ at 05:06 AM on August 13

Someone (or some group) is clearly tracking every score hole-by-hole. Otherwise, how do you have live online coverage of these tournaments? On top of that, there's a PGA official walking around with every group for rules interpretations and such, so why can't he be the official scorekeeper?

posted by TheQatarian at 07:43 AM on August 13

It's one of those things where you actually have to take the time to look over what you're signing, and pay some attention to it. I watch Tiger in his interview after the PGA and he can go back and vividly describe each and every shot of his round. Sergio, and all pro golfers, have been doing this forever. There's no problem with it unless certain players are too much in a hurry. He got what he deserved, and I'm sure he knows it. No problem.

posted by dyams at 08:09 AM on August 13

Shouldn't there be some punitive action taken against Weekley for making the error? Not to accuse Weekley of anything specifically, but I would think that any golfer would benefit from making such "mistakes" if they knew the opponent wasn't inclined to paying as much attention as they should. Garcia seems so preoccupied with coming up with excuses for his poor play he seems an easy target for the less scrupulous playing partner. I would think the PGA would want to immediately slam shut any such doors to impropriety.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 08:32 AM on August 13

It's not the only sport were counting is a required skill as (IIRC) any fan of the University of Michigan basketball team will tell you. Baseball too, as any number of players have forgotten which out was the inning's third and football where very few weeks go by without at least one penalty for the wrong number of men on the field. Officials, too, have a responsibility to know how to count as well. Although I can think of at least two 5th down NCAA Football situations that cost a team a game.

posted by hawkguy at 09:22 AM on August 13

I have played golf with my friends (while drinking beer) where the object of the game was out-right lying!! As an avid golfer who understands that "gentleman's game" is more than a cute buzzword, I would invite you to stick to games of poker and putt-putt. But, hey, I guess if you can sleep at night knowing you're a cheat, swell.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:45 AM on August 14

Thanks padre. I think the "drinking beer" gives way the point of the outing. If you feel the point of getting together with friends in a sporting context is to test moral rigor, why not just stay home?

posted by yerfatma at 12:01 PM on August 14

YFM, you're obviously not a golfer, so you have zero appreciation for what the game is about. Let me put it in terms to which you can relate. How would you like it if your friends lied about how many nutria they shot at the junkyard, thus wrongly capturing the coveted handle of Kamchatka prize? Beer drinking or not, it takes a special kind of small minded hick to cheat his friends at any game. Golf is, by nature, a self-policing game. The only thing a golfer has to regulate who wins is his word, and a man without that has no business playing a game of this nature. So sure, call me Puritanical for believing that a game should be played according to its rules. I can accept derision for having some honor and expecting my playing partners to do the same, beer drinking or not. But to avoid some embarrasment yourself, I'd recommend you stick to pursuits you understand, none of which, obviously, involve "moral rigor."

posted by tahoemoj at 03:47 PM on August 14

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you two arguing the same point?

posted by hawkguy at 04:14 PM on August 14

How would you like it if your friends lied about how many nutria they shot at the junkyard, thus wrongly capturing the coveted handle of Kamchatka prize? Beer drinking or not, it takes a special kind of small minded hick to cheat his friends at any game. You've definitely got me pegged, podjo.

posted by yerfatma at 04:17 PM on August 14

Not really, no. I think I made the assertion that golf should involve honesty and gentlemanly conduct under all circumstances, and if that isn't acceptable, don't play. To paraphrase YFM, I hope correctly, if you feel it's necessary to expect this from other players, maybe you shouldn't be playing. Is that right? Two stances that seem to be worlds apart to me. On preview, yes I do. podjo but I'll need a definition.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:22 PM on August 14

So sure, call me Puritanical for believing that a game should be played according to its rules. It has always seemed to me that golf, like poker, is a game that lends itself to all kinds of different "rules." My friends and I, while golfing, would play a side game called "Bingo, Bango, Bongo" in which, for each hole, the first on the green got "Bingo," the closest to the cup once on the green got "Bango," and the first in the cup got "Bongo." At the end of the round each player would get one playing card from a regular deck of cards for each Bingo, Bango or Bongo. Whoever could make the best poker hand of the cards dealt to him would get his post-game drinks paid for by the others. At least, I think that's what the rules were. Hard to pay attention after all those beers. Getting mad at someone for devising a cheat-friendly version of golf seems a bit like getting mad at "Indian Head Poker" for bastardizing the prisitine rules of "War."

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:34 PM on August 14

tahoemoj - you're joking, surely. A bunch of people go out to play and decide to adapt the rules to their liking (having mutually consented to this behaviour) and in doing so have no impact on anyone else... at all... and yet they shouldn't play the game? Should they all be wearing plus-fours? Should people playing football in the park with jumpers for goalposts (or playing soccer with sweaters for goal-zone definers if it pleases you) be banned from doing so because their pitch isn't Wembley? What, in the same spirit, should we do with people talking shit on the Internet?

posted by JJ at 05:25 PM on August 14

A bunch of people go out to play and decide to adapt the rules to their liking (having mutually consented to this behaviour) Then doesn't that really discount cheating? I think there's a clear distinction between friends adapting the rules to their playing abilities and goals, and people lying about scores. For a high handicapper to take a mulligan or two, or to improve his lie occasionaly during a friendly game, if his playing partners feel it's appropriate, is one thing. To deliberately lie about ones score is another thing entirely. I never tried to make the point that people shoudn't play golf, or any other game for that matter, to have fun. I stick to the original point that lying about your score is a dirtbag move. What, in the same spirit, should we do with people talking shit on the Internet? And frankly, JJ, I would have expected more from you. Many of your comments in the past have been insightful and clever. That one falls pretty short of both of those descriptions.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:15 PM on August 14

Well, this got awful chippy for a golf thread. Jeez, I sure hope tahoemoj doesn't have a problem with golf-related puns!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:28 PM on August 14

None. Hack.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:34 PM on August 14

That one falls pretty short of both of those descriptions. Jesus, Francis, now we all have to worry about your take on what we say? Close down the Internet.

posted by yerfatma at 06:55 PM on August 14

Close down the Internet. How would we ever learn anything?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 07:26 PM on August 14

Thank you Crafty, those are life lessons in there!

posted by tommytrump at 07:39 PM on August 14

I stick to the original point that lying about your score is a dirtbag move. You're completely right that I've never played golf for reals; I can't find a dominant hand and it makes a mess of any potential swing I might develop, but I don't think my lack of participation prevents me from appreciating the game and it won't stop me from suggesting your missing something central. The fascinating thing about golf is participants compete against themselves. They go out with the intent of perfection, knowing no work of human hands can ever be perfect, yet they show up and keep hacking at that little white ball whenever they manage to find it again. Taking the score someone writes down as meaningful is a showy sort of morality; the player knows what they shot. Learning to be comfortable with how well or poorly you manage 18 holes is a sort of synecdoche for how we learn to be comfortable in our own skins as we grow older. Alternatively: yuh brutha, you can cram it. If I were some Southern-friend hick, I'd hope I had a finer-tuned sense of honor than you're accusing me of possessing.

posted by yerfatma at 07:55 PM on August 14

I can't find a dominant hand I guess they just don't have clubs of that sort in New Hampshire, eh?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 08:27 PM on August 14

tahoemoj, I'll side with you on this, for one specific situation. I hate the guys that purposely add strokes to their handicaps, just to then use an inflated handicap to beat someone that plays fairly evenly with them. I know players that would turn in a 86, when they really shot 81. The round didn't matter for anything, but the 86 gets them another stroke, or two, during the next tourney. I've had 20 handicappers shoot a 79 against me!

posted by dviking at 12:13 AM on August 15

Yeah, the tanker is a fairly common sight in a tourney. I think it's just wild that people are actually arguing for cheating at a self officiated game. When the lineman holds on the football field, there is an official there to try to penalize it, baseball has multiple umpires to ensure the game is played by the rules, and on and on. A golfer is responsible for maintaining his own score, enforcing penalty strokes on himself. Anywhere but the highest level has no official. All a golfer has is his word. We all know that sums of money, large and small change hands on a golf course. At the very least, as crafty suggested, drinks are often on the line. And it's o.k. to lie about your score? As to expecting more from JJ, my issue was that I think you missed my point. Playing by a set of rules agreed upon by all players is fine, as is playing any game with makeshift equipment, as long as it is played honestly. It has nothing to do with your "pitch being wembley" (sorry, that one went over my head.) I don't care of you're playing rugby with your grandfather's half full colostomy bag and chihuahuas for end lines, as long as the game's integrity remains intact. No matter how the prevailing winds blow here, I think most avid golfers would agree with me. So I guess I don't give a damn about the ethical standards of anyone I'm not going to spend a day on the course with. Like I said in my original post, if you can sleep at night knowing you're a cheat, sweet dreams.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:31 AM on August 15

Tahoemoj - I think we're interpreting GoBird's comment differently. The game he describes conjured for me an image of four guys getting a few beers on board and heading out to the course. While there, they decide to spice things up by introducing an element of bluff. They all have some fun and talk some shit at each other, no one suffers (apart from the hangover) and all is well. For you, it seemed to conjure an image of a bunch of friends entering a tournament, lying about their scores between themselves with the intention of defrauding the rest of the (innocent and non-complicit) competitors out of the top prizes. If so, then we're arguing different points. If not, and you genuinely have a problem with four consenting adults having fun on a golf course to the detriment of precisely no one, then you're the worst kind of golfing blow hard and far to eager to protect your own narrow view of what the game should be. You're right about "gentleman's game" being more than a buzzword. Firstly, it's two words, and secondly, they let ladies play now too you know (only on Wednesday's of course, and they're not allowed in the clubhouse, but still, it gets them away from the ironing from time to time). I never tried to make the point that people shoudn't play golf Really? So what exactly did you mean in your original statement when you said: As an avid golfer who understands that "gentleman's game" is more than a cute buzzword, I would invite you to stick to games of poker and putt-putt. In every sense this has become a semantic argument (and oddly, you've taken both sides of it at times, both inviting people to go and play poker instead and saying - twice - that if they want to cheat, that's fine with you). As for your expectations of me - many have expected, many have been disappointed. All we can do is soldier on and hope for better next time.

posted by JJ at 04:14 AM on August 15

Furthermore... I have some anecdotal evidence (don't I always?) that says it's OK to get drunk and try to defraud your playing partners on the golf course if it's by mutual consent. When I was at university, the golf team played an annual friendly match against Prestwick. For the uninitiated, Prestwick hosted the first Open Championship - golf's first ever major - in 1860, and hosted 24 more of them before being taken off the rota in 1925. It is a hotbed of traditional golfing values (both good and bad - the original belt awarded to the winner of the Open hangs proudly in the clubhouse, but women are only allowed inside the building to polish said belt or to serve drinks to those admiring it). If you want the absolute home of tradition and of "doing things the way they ought to be done, old boy" in golf, Prestwick is the place to be (not St Andrews, which by comparison is as modern as the 460cc driver). Every February, our team of eight would get out of bed at 5 in the morning and drive in a minibus down to Prestwick from Stirling. The format each year was the same. Upon arrival, we would take coffee with the opposition before heading out as four foursomes games for the moring round. Without fail, this round would be keenly contested - and the rules strictly observed - to the very last hole. And also without fail, we would win all four matches against men twice our age, twice our girth, and half as good at golf. Then would come lunch in the clubhouse. The conversation would flow as freely as the claret, and the whole drink-sodden affair woud take two hours, culminating in the ceremonial drinking of at least two large kummels each. In short, those canny men of Prestwick knew how to weaken the defences of the typical student (free alcohol). The first hole (bottom right of the course in that shot) has nothing but trouble on the left and nothing but railway track on the right. Therefore, standing on that tee in the afternoon, with a three-iron in your hand and three balls in front of you (always hit the middle one) wasn't overly easy, but it did set the tone for the afternoon's golf. Throughout the afternoon, the gloves came off. Everyone was drunk (and hipflasks would appear to keep us topped up), and behaving in a way that I'm sure would have had tahoemoj constipated with rage, but it's fine, because everyone had consented to it. It's fine because no one suffered. It's fine because it was... wait for it... fun! On more than one occasion, we would be hoodwinked and we would hoodwink the opposition. Having hacked his way up one hole, never leaving the heavy rough, one Prestwick member then holed an enormous putt when he finally did make it to the green - he held his arms aloft and proclaimed it an "incredible birdie!" (it was more like a ten), but we all found it so funny that the birdie stood. Tradition dictated that Prestwick tended to win 4-0 in the afternoon, thus contributing to a gallant draw overall. One year, we foolishly brought one of our players who didn't drink. Throughout lunch, he staunchly (if politely) refused a glass of anything but water. In the afternoon, despite playing with a partner who had taken it upon himself to drink twice as much to make up for it all, he forced a win and we accidentally won the match overall. We never asked him back. So there you go - if it's OK to get pissed up and horse around on one of the oldest, most important historical sites in golf, then where's the harm in GoBird doing likewise? The spirit of the game of golf lies in play and innovation. Moses did not come down off mount Sinai with the ten commandments and a copy of the rules of golf in his back pocket. Golf is a game about, as Yerfatma so eloquently put it, the search for a perfection we can only glimpse very occasionally. If that search sometimes drives a man to drink and improvise a new game, where's the harm? You talk about "the integrity of the game" as though that integrity were there not to serve those who play the game but to be served by them. Frankly, that's ridiculous. And one other thing: We all know that sums of money, large and small change hands on a golf course. Gambling is illegal at Bushwood, sir, and I never slice.

posted by JJ at 04:59 AM on August 15

There is nothing wrong with SportsFilter that can't be fixed by more golf threads.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:54 AM on August 15

Unless they're about Michelle Wie.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:17 AM on August 15

I never tried to make the point that people shoudn't play golf, or any other game for that matter, to have fun. I just thought I'd display the entire sentence I wrote earlier, y'know, for context. If you crop sentences half way, they don't really have the same meaning, do they? For you, it seemed to conjure an image of a bunch of friends entering a tournament, lying about their scores between themselves with the intention of defrauding the rest of the (innocent and non-complicit) competitors That is precisely the image it conjured, perhaps mistakenly. I repeatedly said that if you have a prearranged set of rules, or absence of them, that all are aware of, then by all means, play on. The stance I take is anti cheating and lying. If all are aware of "an element of bluff" then it isn't really cheating, is it? The anecdote you so colorfully describe in the second post illustrates the point wonderfully. All "competitors" on these occasions were in on the joke, therefore innocent of wrongdoing (on the golf course, at least. As far as the laws of your locality are concerned, we'll leave that up to those with badges.) Would the situation have been the same, had Prestwick not been in on the ruse? I certainly hope not. So it seems that the dispute that has now gotten me labeled priestly, a blowhard, and hypocritical is simply the interpretation of GoBirds' original comment. If I took it out of context, that is my failure and I apologize to him. As this site consists of the written word, sometimes an implied wink is imperceptible to some who are reading. Kudos to you who picked up on it, you have mastered between the lines reading, while I still have work to do. And as far as deconstructing the phrase gentelman's game, please. Someone so adept at seeing implied meanings as you, JJ, should know that the two words (clever!) signify a standard of honesty and integrity by players, either male or female. Not that it is a game only to be played by well-bred men.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:32 PM on August 15

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.