Not Zach, just a filler picture
Junior Player DQs Himself After Winning
By mustang6560 on 9/2/10
A lot has been written about the integrity of golf and the integrity of golfers.

But no one embodies the integrity of the game more than 14-year-old Zach Nash who disqualified himself after winning a Wisconsin junior PGA Tournament.
Zach Nash was shocked when he discovered he had one too many golf clubs in his bag a couple hours after winning a junior Wisconsin PGA tournament.

But rules are rules, and the 14-year-old from southern Wisconsin made a decision that might surprise some people: He disqualified himself and surrendered his medal.
As heart-breaking as this is, I have to give mad props to Zach for the level of respect he displayed for the game. He said he wouldn't have been able to live with himself if he hadn't come forth.

I wrote a story two weeks ago about this very subject (see Golf Is a Gentleman's Game). When you are already shooting double bogey golf it's easy to rationalize adding on one more penalty stroke. But how easy is it to DQ yourself with a championship metal on the line - let alone already around your neck? Further, how many adults or grown ups would have done the same thing?

Not only am I impressed he came forward and returned the metal, I'm impressed Zach took the time to even count the number of clubs in his bag. I think most young teenagers who have been too excited to even have bothered to realize they violated the rules. He's apparent attention to detail is probably part of his success as a golfer.

Hopefully, though, this will be a lesson learned for Zach - count your clubs before you play!

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[ comments ]
Lemur says:
i'm impressed... good work zack.. have a beer on me... in a few years.. ;-)
Banker85 says:
bummer, but good kid. Very nice to see, i know a lot of 14 year olds i just want to smack in the face because of the lack of respect and integrity they show, or dont show for that matter.
Kurt the Knife says:
good start to manhood
666 Iron says:
Zach displayed integrity and honor. He did the right thing, even though it cost him the championship. Sadly, that trait is rare. I salute him for his honesty and his parents for teaching him these important character traits. Good job.
coojofresh says:
yeah. it will come full circle. if he was good enough to win then he will win again. it is tough to police everyone in golf so doing so should be done on a personal level. it is good someone explained to him what the deal was.
SweetJazz says:
I do not really care about the golf part of this. I am sure his peers are calling him crazy. However, this display of character can touch far more people not to mention his family and future children.
birdieXris says:
well done, zach. :) THAT'S golf.
glenrich says:
Can someone explain how the rules indicate that he should have been DQ'd?

I've read the rule in question but it is not clear to me that he should have been DQ'd.
To my reading, he should have at most received a 4 stroke penalty.
The rule pertaining to DQ only applies when the breach is discovered during play and excess clubs not immediately declared out of play.
Since the breach was not discovered, he did not break this rule.
The maxiumum penalty for having excess clubs is 4 strokes per round.

I think its great that he "in-spirit" is following the rules but he owes it to everyone to make sure he is following the rules properly.
Did he really DQ himself or did he submit the issue to the tournament officials and have them determine that he should be DQ'd?
Even the rule pertaining to incorrect scorecard only applies if you know that your score was wrong prior to the end of competition.
dtak84 says:
DQ'd because he signed an incorrect scorecard. I believe you're mistaken on your interpretation of signing an incorrect scorecard.

Also, he didn't count his clubs. After he won, he went to his local CC to show his course pro and it was the pro who pointed out the extra club. THAT is when he "realized" he had played with an extra club.

I admire him for turning himself in, don't get me wrong.
But, he didn't catch the mistake, his pro did. Can anyone be 100% sure if no one else knew about the 15th club he would've done the same? And how can you not notice a 5-wood that isn't yours in your bag for an entire round of golf?
glenrich says:
The rule regarding the score card being incorrect clearly states that the only exception is when you do not know that the you had the penalty before the end of competition.

So should we conclude that Zach knew about the extra club before the end of the competition? If that is the case then he should be DQ'd and the story as written is not accurate in saying that he did not know about the extra club until 2 hours after.

(iii) returned a score for any hole lower than actually taken (Rule 6-6d) for any reason other than failure to include a penalty that, before the competition closed, he did not know he had incurred; or
(iv) knew, before the competition closed, that he had been in breach of any other Rule for which the penalty is disqualification.
cjgiant says:
@glenrich is quoting Rule 34 Disputes and Decisions, specifically 34-1 Claims and Penalties.

The rules of golf and all their decisions continue to intrigue me. Per my reading of that decision, I would tend to agree with @glenrich against DQ. But something has to be missing, and maybe it's the spirit of the game. Otherwise, you better accidentally screw up in the 4th round instead of the second, because there is less time for someone to notice your blunder (didn't quite work for DJ).
dtak84 says:

I don't think he knew he had 15 clubs, but, I wonder how that goes? I mean, if I had an extra club in my bag while I was playing, I would definitely notice...
jrbizzle says:
How did he not notice the 15th club? I'm guessing you haven't hung around with many 15 year olds. My cousin has a 16 year old. He and his wife have been driving the kid back and forth to high school every day for two years. The kid got his license and didn't know how to get from home to school in his car - they aren't very perceptive at that age.
c5agalb says:
Play golf for fun and let the best player win. I tired of all these stupid rules disqualifications taking away the good play these golfers played.
Was it a bunker or wasnt
Late for a pro am tee time
extra club in the bag
jason_w says:
When you use a photo from Flickr, you are required to give proper attribution to the photographer, as per the Creative Commons license. It's not right to use someone's photo without giving credit to the photog.
epatt says:
I agree with @dtak84. He didn't actually catch his mistake. The pro did, who is to say if he got home and seen it if he would have done the same thing. It's cool to hear about it but you can't say he has integrity until he actually catches his self then turns his self in without anyone else knowing. IMO he deserved to win if he didn't use the club in his bag but rules are rules.
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