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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

Lexi Thompson violates Rules of Golf at Indy Women in Tech Championship



During the third round of the Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson unknowingly ran afoul of the Rules of Golf.

Preferred lies–AKA lift, clean, and place–were in effect at soggy Brickyard Crossing. Thompson hit her drive at the par-5 10th hole wide right. It settled in the sixth fairway. Believing she was allowed to lift and clean any ball in the fairway, Thompson began to do so.

The rule, of course, only applies to balls that settle in one’s own fairway. Fortunately for Thompson, an official saw what was happening and stepped in to administer a penalty.

“Thankfully, Marty [the official] intervened before she hit her next shot,” Golf Channel’s Kay Cockerill reported. “Otherwise, she would have been hitting from the wrong spot, and it would have been a two-shot penalty. So, in a sense, it saved her a shot.”

The LPGA issued this statement.

“While playing the third round of the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship, Lexi Thompson incurred a one-stroke penalty for breach of the preferred lies local Rule (Appendix IA Part 3b Course Conditions).”

“The Committee adopted the preferred lies local Rule due to the turf conditions of the golf course after receiving over an inch of rain. The LPGA, under the local Rule, restricts the player from preferring her lie when her ball lies in a closely-mown area of a hole other than the one being played.”

“During the play of hole #10, Thompson’s tee shot came to rest in the fairway of hole #6. As Thompson’s ball lay on the fairway of hole #6, she was not entitled to prefer her lie.”

“She preferred her lie in breach of the local Rule but prior to playing her stroke from a wrong place (Rule 20-7), she was questioned by a Rules official regarding her actions. As she had not played her stroke from the preferred spot, she did not receive the general penalty of two-strokes under the local Rule. However, she did incur a one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 for lifting her ball at rest without authority.”

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19th Hole

Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods’ caddie, paid a heckler $25 to leave at the WGC-Bridgestone



While Steve Williams would likely have taken a different route, Tiger Woods’ current caddie admitted to bribing a fan to leave his boss alone.

LaCava called into ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” and told a tale of paying of a heckler at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

LaCava said the man heckled Woods throughout his final round at the Bridgestone, and on the 14th hole, LaCava interceded, telling the man to check out action elsewhere on the course. Interestingly/absurdly, the man said he would be happy to, provided LaCava reimburse him for his ticket.

Here’s the full transcript c/o ESPN.

Mike Golic: “Did you have any issues with the people at Bellerive?”

Joe LaCava: “Not at all, and you hit it right on the head, 99 percent of the guys and women are behind Tiger, pushing for Tiger. They want to see good golf in general they’re not anti-the-other-guys, but they’re certainly rooting for Tiger more so than the other guys. But, funny you guys ask that question. The week before in Akron, I had a little incident with a guy who was harassing my guy on the 14th hole at Akron the last day outside the ropes, roughening him up pretty good. And I said, hey listen bud, why do you gotta go there? Everyone’s having a good time, everyone’s pulling for Tiger. You don’t like the guy that’s one thing, but you don’t to be yelling at my guy, screaming negative stuff like that. And I said at the end of the day, if you affect him, his performance, it effects my bottomline. So he calls me a couple names and I go back and forth with the guy, and I say why don’t you just leave. And he says well if you give me $25 for the ticket that I bought today I’ll leave. And I said here you go, here’s $25.”

Mike: “Did he leave?”

Joe: “So I whip out $25 and he starts to go down the 14th fairway toward the green. I say look pal $25 is $25 you gotta head the other way. So he starts to head the other way, he goes 20 yards down the line, then he calls me a certain other, a swear word. So I run 20 yards back the other way and I’m going face to face with this guy. And all the sudden Tiger’s looking for a yardage, and I’m in it with this guy 20 yards down the line. So some cop has to come in, push this guy outta the way, and take him outta the tournament.

Mike: “So what did Tiger say when you came back to give him the yardage?”

Joe: “Well that’s a great question. We were so far to the right of the trees, and he was on his third shot believe it or not, we were still 150 yards away from the green, and he didn’t really know what happened. He heard the commotion, he heard the guy yelling at him, so we talked about it after the fact, but he didn’t really know how it developed. And he says I was wondering what happened, and he goes normally it wouldn’t that long to get a yardage. I said well a little incident down the road. He didn’t have a problem with it, and actually I gotta standing ovation for kicking the guy outta there.

Security probably should have happened sooner when LaCava was $25 richer.

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19th Hole

A brief cart ride (by his caddie) has big implications for Akshay Bhatia at the U.S. Amateur



16-year-old Akshay Bhatia may be looking for a new caddie for his next event. The rising star of amateur golf was penalized when his caddie accepted a ride on a golf cart at the 14th hole during the round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur.

Bhatia would go on to lose to Bradford Tilley.

The match was all square at the 14th. Chris Darnell, Bhatia’s caddie, made a pit stop at the bathroom after Bhatia hit his approach. While the player walked to the green, Darnell was approached by what he believed was a USGA official driving a golf cart.

“The gentleman was wearing a USGA pullover,” Darnell said afterward. “I asked if I could get a ride to the green to keep up pace, and he said yes. So I hopped on the back, got up to the green, hopped off and thought nothing of it.”

Of course, neither players nor caddies can ride on any form of transportation during the round unless authorized, per the Rules of Golf. Bhatia was penalized accordingly and lost the hole after a (real) official spotted the infraction.

Particularly frustrating for the golfer was the fact that he had birdied the par-5 and believed he was going 1 up on his opponent, only to find out they were all square.

As mentioned, Bhatia would go on to lose in 19 holes.

Adding another layer to this drama, Darnell said Tilley’s caddie had done the same thing earlier in the match.

“I had already seen the other caddie in our group do it on the ninth hole,” Darnell said. “Same thing – USGA pullover, drove him from the bathroom up to the fairway – so I assumed it was fine. I didn’t point it out at the time because everything seemed kosher. He had the USGA stuff on, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

What are the chances Tilley or his caddie admit to the infraction now? And who is this mystery idiot who loves the USGA enough to drape himself in their garb but is daft enough to blatantly break a straightforward rule of competition?

Dumb rule? Certainly in this sense. But so many situations exist in amateur play that you can understand why the USGA would level a prohibition on transportation. Still, shouldn’t there be some room for interpretation? It’s difficult to argue Bhatia himself gained any advantage…

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole