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19th Hole

POLL: High school golfer called penalty on self, lost tournament. Would you do the same?



Bobby Jones once said that being commended for calling a penalty on yourself in golf is like being congratulated for not robbing a bank.

We’d all like to think we have the moral fiber to penalize ourselves, should we commit an infraction. But what if it costs you a tournament? Or worse, what if you’re a high school golfer and it costs your team a victory?

Such was the situation for Kate Wynja, a senior at Sioux Falls Christian in South Dakota. She won the Class A state golf meet on Tuesday. However, as the scores were being added, Wynja realized she signed for a “4” on the final hole, rather than the 5 that she made.

“I knew I needed to tell them,” Wynja told “It was really sad, mostly because I knew what the result would be. I knew that I would be disqualified and it broke my heart for the team. But I knew I couldn’t leave without saying something.”

In revealing she signed an incorrect scorecard, Wynja was disqualified and her team lost.

Wynja tweeted the following after the incident.

So, here’s the question: through the magic of anonymous polling, you can tell us, honestly, what you would have done in Wynja’s situation. While it’s possible others knew/could have known she made five on the hole, we’ll assume for this thought experiment that only she knew and the weight of calling the penalty was only upon her conscience.

Would you have penalized yourself for an incorrect scorecard?

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  1. Geoffrey Holland

    Jun 11, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Dawie Van Der Walt voted no.

  2. Richard

    Jun 11, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    The no voters should be ashamed of themselves. No integrity.

  3. JThunder

    Jun 9, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    She should be applauded for her integrity. But moreover, anyone who voted “No” or wouldn’t do the same should be ostracized. It would have been nice had she mentioned the impact of cheating and lying on other people, instead of just mentioning God. It’s great to have faith, but the problem in the world now is that even most people who claim to have faith lack empathy – and so continue to treat others poorly until their weekly “cleansing”.

    It does say a lot about the world that an act of integrity is front page news. What might it be like if her “superiors” used Twitter for positive messages instead of negative ones?

    • Boyo

      Jun 11, 2018 at 5:54 am

      I voted no because I never had an incorrect score card.

    • Thomas A

      Jun 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

      I agree. She seems to be giving a shout out to herself for being such a good Christian.

  4. Terry

    Jun 9, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Good on her. Could you imagine how much the world would be a better place if everyone held themselves to this level of integrity?

  5. CDub

    Jun 8, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    This is a terrible rule and should be eliminated. The punishment does not fit the crime and it also doesn’t make the game more fair. Penalties should be used to equal the playing field if a player is trying to gain an unfair advantage. This “integrity” rule deters players from correcting an inadvertent mistake.

    • Ron

      Jun 8, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Agree, this is by far the dumbest rule in all of sports, and it should be changed in the modernization of the rules next year. But won’t be.

  6. DS

    Jun 8, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    If it was the difference between winning, and losing, or tying (ie, the 1 stroke actually meant something), AND my scorecard showed a LOWER score than I actually made, I’d call it on myself in 2 seconds. If I wrote a higher score than I made, or if I had won or lost by enough that it didn’t matter, then my lips are sealed. Another dumb golf rule that will be in the hopper during one of the next rules reviews by the governing bodies.

    • Mark

      Jun 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      If you sign for a higher score then that is your final score – no additional penalty. You are only disqualified when you sign for a lower score than what you actually shot.

  7. Mike Cleland

    Jun 8, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Good for you girl. You did the right thing. Everyone makes mistakes & it’s great that you have the integrity to takes responsibility for it. Too bad we don’t have more states like South Dakota.

  8. Michael Molloy

    Jun 8, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    God this.. God that. She is so holy, so this should really be a non event for someone this ‘good’. I wonder does she recycle. That is probably a more worthwhile pursuit for the good of mankind, than going to church.

    • Michael H

      Jun 8, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      You realize you’re bashing a 16-18 year old?

  9. NWW

    Jun 8, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Good for her. She is a real golfer and has some integrity.

    I am always appalled by some of the stupid comments people make about these kinds of stories.

  10. Todd Dugan

    Jun 8, 2018 at 10:15 am

    To do anything else would have been cheating.

  11. lke

    Jun 8, 2018 at 7:33 am

    how do you happen to sign a bogey instead of par at the last hole of the last day?

    it looks more like she tried to adjust the score and the had guilty conscience

  12. Sean Foster-Nolan

    Jun 7, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    My son called a penalty on himself during a high school tournament. He lost his match, but I was very proud of him. His coach wasn’t too happy though.

  13. Piss

    Jun 7, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    If this girl wasn’t cute this would be a non story

    • Heavvy

      Jun 8, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      This is the most accurate comment so far.

  14. hot n cold

    Jun 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Dumbest rule in golf. No other sport has this antiquated notion of how score is kept, and it doesn’t “make golf, golf”. Amend the score so it is correct, done.

  15. Pete O'Tuibe

    Jun 7, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    The people who declared they would not call the penalty are not real golfers. Golf is a game where YOU are playing for YOURSELF and if YOU need to cheat to succeed, then YOU are a miserable failure. Go away and do something else, just get off my golf course.

    • henry

      Jun 9, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      Haha wait. So what she did is now considered cheating?

  16. TCJ

    Jun 7, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    There is no God.

  17. Mark

    Jun 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    I can’t figure out why people are making this out to be a big deal – integrity is the foundation of golf. There is no question as to the right thing to do in this situation during a tournament. I guess our society has gotten to a point where integrity is OK up to a point but can be negotiable if the cost is deemed too high. Yes, it sucks that her team lost as a result of the DQ, but I don’t see any other option.

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19th Hole

Baba Booey for Life! Does this GolfWRX member have a point?



Oh boy, here’s a heater. On the subject of Baba Booey-ing at golf tournaments, WRX member Stickner started a thread, writing

“For those that think nois.e while a player hits shouldn’t be allowed, you must also believe that fans should NEVER make noise.

“A player with a large gallery jars a 70 footer for eagle to take the lead. The crowd erupts! This should not be allowed.

“Why you ask? There are other golfers well within earshot of the noise. This could disrupt their game. Why does the nearby player you can see deserve the “courtesy of quiet” but the one 400 yards away that you can’t see doesn’t?

“We have all seen players back off because the crowd erupted on another hole. What happens when that eruption happens in the backswing right before the player is about to transition to the downswing? Those boisterous hooligans need to keep their traps shut as this is a gentleman’s game right?

“Being quiet while someone plays golf is silly. My guess is that the elitist snobs that played this game a century ago needed a scapegoat when hitting a bad shot and noise became their scapegoat.”

He wraps his rant in, well, the most appropriate way possible: “BABA BOOEY FOR LIFE B&^%HES!”

Now, this flies in the face of the “isolated noise during the golf swing is extremely distracting” argument that is popularly leveled in defense of silence. But let’s see what GolfWRX members think about Stickner’s comments.

MtlJeff says

“While i am not in favor of intentionally yelling during a swing, your point is an interesting one. I hadn’t really thought of it like that, the loud roars often get overlooked when it comes to the “distracting noise” narrative.”

Eagle1997 says

“Planned vs. Spontaneous. Jabroni Factor only applies to one.”

Blackngold_blood says

“I am fine with cheering for a great shot or groaning for a bad one. My problem with…bababooey and mashed potatoes is the fact that it has nothing to do with GOLF! All the person is doing is screaming “Look at me, I need attention!” Or how about the even less classy “How’s your ankle” that was shouted at Finau after he hit his last approach to 18. I get the point that these are professional athletes and golf is becoming more mainstream but the immature comments need to stop.”

Naptime says

“Background noises and distant noises can be perceived as while noise. If you play next to a highway you adapt and become less aware of it. But if a trucker blasts a horn in your swing it would startle and at least for me would probably result in a hot grounder to third base. Yelling Baba Booey or any other lame comment after a swing doesn’t startle the swinger, just make the shouter sound like a doofus who can’t hold his alcohol.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does Stickner have a point? Should the rules of the wider sports world apply to golf, or does golf fandom require a particular understanding of when to be quiet and when to cheer?

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19th Hole

Both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth laughed at Phil Mickelson’s 13th hole antics



The image of 48-year-old Phil Mickelson jogging after his golf ball on the 13th green at Shinnecock, Saturday, was bizarrely comedic. Even if you condemn Mickelson in the strongest of terms, taken on its face, the scene is a silly one.

That said, it’s interesting that two of the biggest names in the game had the same response: laughter.

Speaking before the Travelers Championship, Rory McIlroy said

“I saw what happened…and honestly, I laughed. I felt there was a massive overreaction to it. Knowing Phil, he knew what he was doing, and as a player who has been in that head space before in a tournament, I can see it happening.”

Jordan Spieth voiced similar sentiments earlier in the week

“I laughed, I thought it was really funny…Phil knows the rules…There was a chance it was going to go back behind the bunker and he’s got to chip back, or he was going to play off the green anyways, so he was potentially saving himself a shot. So if that was the intent, then what’s the harm in that? He’s playing the best score he can.”

There are a couple of widely different perspectives (and plenty in-between) here.

One: Thank goodness Spieth and McIlroy aren’t uptight dogmatists when it comes to the rules, and they appreciate the humor in an absurd situation.

Two: Spieth and McIlroy, as significant figures in the game, ought to stand up for the integrity of the rules of golf, condemning Mickelson’s behavior…and perhaps question whether disqualification was in order (as Jason Day and other pros have done).

Which camp you find yourself in likely aligns with how you view the Mickelson incident: A humorous and well-deserved middle finger to the USGA or a reprehensible act for which Mickelson was not sufficiently punished?

Beneath Mickelson’s behavior and the responses of McIlroy and Spieth is the ever-growing rift between the USGA and PGA Tour players–as well as a level of annoyance with/disdain for the organization’s Rules of Golf.

Remembering how Mickelson spearheaded the overhaul of the PGA of America-run U.S. Ryder Cup team and its procedures when he called out captain Tom Watson in 2014, it was the same sort of situation: “Is this calculated, or has he lost his mind?” everyone seemed to be asking.

In the wake of those remarks, players rallied behind the veteran, and he assumed a leadership position in the reform effort. Whether we see something similar with respect to the pros and the USGA/U.S. Open, it certainly looks like the political will for change is there among Tour players, as McIlroy and Spieth’s remarks suggest.

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19th Hole

In other Phil Mickelson news…robot-delivered food



Not an Onion story; real thing that is actually happening here. Phil Mickelson and his manager/business partner, Steve Loy have signed a deal with Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. and its flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy’s, to open 30 yogurt locations in San Diego.

We’ll just quote directly from the press release, because, who can paraphrase language like this?

“Reis & Irvy’s-branded signature robot characters of the same name can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatos and sorbet topped with a selection of six delicious toppings in under 60 seconds. With self-checkout touch screen ordering and payment options, video animation, music and delicious frozen dessert provided exclusively by Dannon, robot vendors meet consumer demand for convenience, entertainment and a superior quality product.”

Mickelson and Loy are reportedly keen to challenge the status quo in food retail.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such transformative industry change,” says Mickelson. “I’ve pushed boundaries my whole career and that mindset carries over into the business world. The energy and passion from the Generation NEXT team to both deliver a quality product and disrupt food retail is exciting.”

Reis & Irvy’s has awarded $130 million in franchise and licensing contracts since its launch in 2016.

Dress shirts on course. Robo froyo. What will Phil do next, indeed.

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19th Hole