Part of me wants to leave this story just as the headline. That is honestly what happened and sums up how stupid this really is.
In the interest of humouring you a little more, I’ll go on.
Last week saw the final edition of the golf’s 2012 majors, the USPGA. Rory McIlroy dominated, winning by 8 shots. But the story I found more entertaining was that fellow Northern Irishman, Michael Hoey.
The Friday of the PGA Championship was described by Tiger Woods as “brutal”. Only 5 players broke par in the windy conditions. One of them, Michael Hoey.
A ten-year pro, Hoey had never made the cut at a major. Never.
After shooting an opening round 78 it looked like another early flight to Belfast from a major. But a second round, 70, changed that and qualified him for the weekend!
Or so he thought.
During his round, Hoey embedded his ball in sand. To identify his ball, he brushed away a few grains of sand (as permitted by the rules of golf, rule 12.1…. #NerdAlert I know).
It was indeed his. Unsure of what to do now, his instinct was to call in a rules official (essentially sad old American men who like to wear armbands, drive golf buggies, show off their golf knowledge and point at things with a walkie-talkie).
However, Hoey’s playing partner, Kevin Na, a notoriously slow golfer had been warned for slow play and the entire group was warned of their pace. A further delay would result in penalties.
“I really should have called for one of the rules guys but Kevin Na told me he knew I wasn’t entitled to relief and kind of rushed me a little bit.” – Hoey
Nice one Kevin… Na-t! (see what I did there! #proud)
So Hoey played on, confident he had followed the rules. Finished, signed for his 2-under par 70, and probably cracked open a cold-one with his caddie to celebrate making the cut at a major for the first time.
After reviewing the incident, the USGA rules officials disqualified Hoey as he “failed to try and recreate the lie as perfectly as possible before playing it”. Meaning, if Hoey spinkled his ball with a few grains of sand before hacking it out, all would be forgiven.
I have a feeling a few more cold-ones were in order after hearing that news. (FYI – if you make the cut and come last, you still make £10,000).
I would have cried.
I feel like crying thinking about this.
I think I am going to cry.