Tringale Asks For, Receives Retroactive DQ
By Torleif Sorenson on 8/18/14
After six days of second-, third-, and fourth-guessing himself, California-born PGA Tour player Cameron Tringale asked that PGA of America to be disqualified from the 96th PGA Championship.
Here's the deal: On Sunday morning, Tringale teed off with Australia's Matt Jones in the final round. It was at the 11th hole when the incident or non-incident (nobody is really certain) took place:
"I have contacted the PGA of America and asked to be disqualified from last week's PGA Championship at Valhalla. On Sunday, I signed for a bogey 4 on the par-3 11th hole. While approaching the hole to tap in my three-inch bogey putt, the putter swung over the ball prior to tapping in. Realizing 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. I regret any inconvenience this has caused the PGA of America and my fellow competitors in what was a wonderful championship."Tringale's request, made under Rule 34.1b (III) was ultimately accepted by the PGA of America. The organization's chief championships officer, Kerry Haigh, issued the requisite response:
"We are very appreciative of Cameron coming forward to inform us of this situation. It yet again shows the great values and traditions of the game and the honesty and integrity of its competitors."Taking a swing at the ball with the intent of hitting it, but not actually hitting it, does indeed count as a recorded stroke. Your humble correspondent did precisely that during a company golf outing at Heritage Links in Lakeville, Minnesota in 1998. I left my tee-shot in the thick rough left of the fairway and could barely see it. My first swing at the ball with a "fairway driver" wasn't low enough to contact the ball. Afterward, a fellow technical support analyst asked what I scored on the hole, and I explained what happened.
"Oh, c'mon, we're not playing under those rules," he said. Nevertheless, *I* was. And the swing counted on my scorecard.
Amongst other people, the great Bobby Jones would have demanded nothing less from me. After all, he called a penalty on himself at the 1925 U.S. Open.
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"While approaching the hole to tap in my three-inch bogey putt, the putter swung over the ball prior to tapping in. Realizing 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."
What the hell, is this guy an attorney? What is with this excessively vague noncommittal language. Putter swung over the ball prior to tapping in? Considering that he saw fit to DQ himself, that could only mean that he simply whiffed. "...there could be the slightest doubt that the swing over the ball should have been recorded as a stroke..." There could be the slightest doubt? Again what the hell does this mean. Clearly there wasn't much doubt or else you wouldn't making a fuss. Either you intended to hit it or you didn't. The action is commendable but the language accompanying it is infuriating, couched in all this pointless legalese, and for god knows what reason.
I.e. what could be so wrong about being direct, saying "I have to confess, I whiffed the putt, and I should've counted it at the time but I didn't."
Upon reflecting I think I understand it. He is trying to portray himself as moral, while also distancing himself from the embarrassing failure that is whiffing a tiny putt. I suppose a professional golfer must protect the ego at all costs.
Bizarre. So he didn't hit the ball, just took an "air swing" over the top of the ball? Is that correct? Don't golfers do that all the time when preparing for a sand bunker shot?
Hmmm, I agree with LB. If he truly tried to hit the putt and whiffed, the appropriate time to say something was right then. Who the heck doesn't know when they are trying to hit something versus a practice swing?? If he was not trying to hit it but on reflection he thinks it could look like he whiffed, he should have said to his marker, "I know it looked like I just whiffed but I truly was not attempting to make a stroke." Case closed at that point.
I wonder if someone said something to him after the fact and he realized he was on tape?
Upon further reflection I think BK might be on to something. It certainly sounds like something or someone else was involved here, and that Mr. Cameron might have been compelled to do this by a third party, or even the PGA.
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