J.P. Hayes Honest... And Jobless.
By Kickntrue on 11/19/08
J.P. Hayes played well enough to be on the PGA Tour next year. Unfortunately he couldn't live with the guilt and DQ'd himself.
On his 12th hole of the first round at Deerwood Country Club last Wednesday, Hayes' caddie reached into his golf bag, pulled out a ball and flipped it to Hayes, who missed the green with his tee shot. He then chipped on and marked his ball.

It was then that Hayes realized the ball was not the same model Titleist with which he had started his round. That was in violation of the one-ball rule, which stipulates that a player must play the same model throughout a round.

But his nightmare was just beginning.

After the second round, as Hayes relaxed in his hotel room, it suddenly occurred to him that the wrong ball he had played in the first round might not have been on the USGA's approved list.

"It was a Titleist prototype, and somehow it had gotten into my bag," he said. "It had been four weeks since Titleist gave me some prototype balls and I tested them. I have no idea how or why it was still in there."

He could have said nothing and kept playing. But he couldn't have lived with himself knowing he had possibly broken the rules.

"I called an official in Houston that night and said, 'I think I may have a problem,'GÇé" Hayes said. "He said they'd call Titleist the next day. I pretty much knew at that point I was going to be disqualified."

Hayes refused to blame his caddie.
This is the part where I usually rant about how stupid the rules of golf are. Don't get me wrong, it IS stupid that he has to miss out on the PGA Tour in 2009 for a mistake that was for 1 hole in an early qualifying round. That said- it's a little different to use an illegal ball than it is to play with a broken driver.

I guess congrats to J.P. for being man enough to admit his mistake and all the consequences that came with it. Still a stupid rule though. :) And as a side note- I would've blamed the caddie. Who else's fault would that be?

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[ comments ]
saintsman says:
Thats good Karma I think, he should be fine because it will come back to him.
jerdman says:
That is a shame. Now he'll just have to play golf all next year and not win money. Pretty harsh rule.
blipszyc says:
"And as a side note- I would've blamed the caddie. Who else's fault would that be?
" - It's the player's fault! The caddie is an assistant and not the pro. A player should always double check what he's given from a caddie. Do you blame your clubs for bad shots?
TheBrownCrayon says:
Of course I blame my clubs for bad shots! What do you blame?
komega19 says:
Upon pondering "how this could happen..." I must ask the question ..so, there was a player out their with an illegal ball? Hmmm, something stinks, HE needs to come forward, too!
mbills1015 says:
komega.. I hope you didn't ponder to long. Maybe you should go back through the article again -- the only person involved was Hayes and his caddie.

The question this does bring up is... how often does this happen? If at all... Secondly if it does happen why don't more people call themselves on it?

You have to imagine that alot of other players are trying out prototype balls as well.
falcon50driver says:
This is their job, their business, their livlihood. How hard can it be to make sure your tools are in order? Does a carpenter load his nailgun with the wrong nails? Don't you make sure you have the right type and quantity of fuel in your jet? Congratulations to him for coming forward anyway.
falcon50driver says:
Brown crayon, in my case, I know it's not the club's fault... It's the ball's fault. I have even learned to speak Chinese so they will understand me when I scream stop STOP STOPDAMMIT in their home language.
BAKE_DAWG40 says:
That really sucks. Aside from who's fault it was, this also brings to the forefront how much respect these guys have for the game of golf and the rules.
kidputter says:
Another millionaire messed up, called himself on it, and now we're making him out to be a saint. I'm wondering if he did this because he felt it was right or if he felt he may get caught later, if someone looked at the tapes, scrutinizing each and every aspect. There are people hired by the PGA and LPGA that do that.
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