Golf is a game of sportsmanship and honor, and Cameron Tringale exemplified that after calling the PGA Tour office and requesting to be disqualified from the 2014 PGA Championship due to a previously undetected incorrect scorecard.
Tringale, 26, claims to have missed a stroke when attempting to tap in on the 11th hole Sunday, per a Eurosport report (h/t Yahoo Sports). Despite uncertainty about the stroke—Tringale himself claims to be unsure about whether he actually addressed the ball, which would decide if it warranted the penalty—the Mission Viejo, California, native claims to have been guilt-ridden over the past week.
"Realising that there could be the slightest doubt that the swing over the ball should have been recorded as a stroke, I spoke with the PGA of America and shared with them my conclusion that the stroke should have been recorded," Tringale said in a statement.
Under PGA rules, a player is disqualified if he signs an incorrect scorecard. The mishit would have added an extra stroke to his round, taking him from a tie for 33rd place (four under par) to a tie for 36th. By virtue of his disqualification, Tringale will forfeit his $53,000 in prize money.
What's more, he'll also be giving away his finest performance in a major championship. In four previous major starts, Tringale missed the cut three times and finished 72nd in the 2012 PGA Championship. Still without a win in his professional career, last week was his finest overall performance as a pro given the stage.
"We are very appreciative of Cameron coming forward to inform us of this situation," Kerry Haigh, the PGA's chief championships officer, told ESPN.com's Bob Harig. "It again shows the great values and traditions of the game and the honesty and integrity of its competitors."
Tringale's disqualification will lead to a slight alteration in the final standings. Each player who finished behind him will move up one spot. For example, the 36th-place finishers will now go down in the record books as finishing 35th.
Tringale's decision is drawing a mixture of praise, confusion and a certain level of eye-rolling at someone willingly giving up $53,000. Alex Miceli of Golfweek.com described the situation as "bizarre":
Ranked No. 107 in the world, Tringale had been in the midst of his finest professional season. He has two top-five finishes, sits No. 50 in the FedEx Cup rankings and has only missed the cut six times in 27 events.
Having gone through the 2013 season without qualifying for a major, it looked like he was capping off 2014 with some momentum. Instead, he'll go down on a long list of golfers who have chosen honor over padding their pockets.
We'll have to see whether the golf gods reward him moving forward.
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