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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

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (10.11.18)



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19th Hole

Report: No tickets will be sold for Tiger-Phil match



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19th Hole

WATCH: Is this the craziest hole-in-one you’ve ever seen?



Golfers often say that getting a hole-in-one is all luck. (Keep in mind that Tiger Woods, arguably one of the most skilled iron players ever, says he has 19 holes-in-one… so maybe not all luck.) But certainly there are some holes-in-one that are “luckier” than others.

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19th Hole