Max Homa began his pro debut on the PGA Tour at the Frys.com Open carding an opening round 2-under 69. Though it could have been a lower score, had he not assessed himself a penalty on the par-4, 6th.
Addressing a chip shot from just off the green -- Homa's ball moved, inducing a one stroke penalty, ultimately resulting in a bogey on the hole.
Golf and golfers have an interesting and ideal checking position of being able to call penalties on them selves during an event. It takes great integrity and honesty to suck it up, call the penalty on yourself and move on.
That is one of the many ideals that makes golf one of the most unique games on the planet. With millions upon millions of dollars at stake. A golfer has the ideals and honesty to call a penalty [however ridiculous to others] on their selves, and not think twice about it.
A few years ago at the Verizon Heritage. Brian Davis and Jim Furyk needed extra holes to decide who would take home the title and the $1.03-Million dollar purse.
Davis, who was attempting to win for the first time on the PGA Tour. Hit an approach shot that bounced off the green and into a sandy area covered with weeds near the water. When Davis tried to punch the ball back onto the green, his club ever so slightly grazed a reed type weed on his back swing.
Immediately Davis called for Slugger White [PGA Tour rules official] to explain to him what he thought may have happened in his backswing. Sure enough, after the two went to check the TV replay, Davis' club did graze a reed in his backswing.
"It was one of those things I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye," Davis said. "And I thought we’d check on TV, and indeed there was movement."
As soon as the replays confirmed the violation, Davis conceded the victory to Furyk, who was somewhat stunned -- but, make no mistake, grateful for the win.
"To have the tournament come down that way is definitely not the way I wanted to win," Furyk said. "It’s obviously a tough loss for him and I respect and admire what he did."
Golf is a game not just about hitting some little white ball into some yonder hole [Tin Cup]. It's a game based on values, ideals, integrity and honestly.
For a professional golfer to call a penalty on his or herself in a tournament, that could ultimately cost them a cut, money or even a victory. Should be admired and practiced by all who tee it up on the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Mini Tours or with your buddies at your local golf course.