Thursday, July 29, 2010
Everything You Need to Know About This Sarah Brown Disqualification
This season was the first to go under the microscope about grooves. Before the season kicked off, it was all (besides a certain golfer with an Escalade) we were talking about. "Would the changes make that much of a difference?" "How would the players spin the ball out of the rough?" "What the heck is the deal with these Ping Eye-2 wedges?"
Nobody really thought something like this would happen. Sarah Brown, an 18-year-old, who had made four of seven cuts on the Duramed Futures Tour, ran into a problem with grooves that is getting extremely ugly, and rightfully so. See, Brown was playing in The International last week, and had shot solid rounds of 69-70 before the final round. She was making the turn when her grooves, the same thin lines that were hitting all our headlines in January, got her tossed off the golf course. Well, it appears the grooves aren't the only thin lines in this story. So are the rules, apparently.
See, Brown's grooves were legal as it turns out, because her Ping Tour-W wedges are on the approved list, yet Brown being pulled off the course because they were deemed illegal has caused an uproar. While The Groove Police are still figuring out the way to handle certain situations, the protocol for handling a player on the course that is playing with unapproved wedges is to let them finish the round before you disqualify them. Brown, who got yanked off after nine holes, didn't have a chance to finish her final round, and is now seeking some serious coin by the Futures Tour standards to make up for the gaffe by the people in charge.
Here is what the Browns are asking for after the Futures Tour offered them $2,000 for their mistake.
-- $5,638, the amount Sarah Brown would’ve earned had she finished The International at Concord at 8-under 208. She was 3 under par for the event when she was removed from the golf course with nine holes remaining.
-- A waiver of the entry fee to 2010 LPGA Q-School, a $5,000 value. Brown advanced to the finals last year, finishing 84th.
-- An annual seminar for Duramed Futures Tour rules official outlining how to handle difficult situations. “I’d like it to be called the Sarah Brown Seminar,” Keith Brown said.
While it may seem hefty for all these things, it isn't ludicrous. This was a serious mistake, and one made to a younger golfer who most likely is struggling for confidence in the minor leagues of professional golf. Any little hiccup like this could change her entire mindset, and a disqualification for a rule that accuses her of basically cheating, more or less, might rattle her for the rest of the season.
The bottom line is, if you're going to make such a snap judgement, you best know that it is the right call. Here, it wasn't, and the Futures Tour is going to pay.