Eight days later, the verdict on the Great Washington Grooves Debacle was delivered — The grooves on the wedges 16-year-old Erynne Lee used to win the US Women’s Sectional Qualifier were non-conforming, leading to her disqualification.
“it’s really unfortunate,” said Crouthamel. “She had bought the wedges and had been told they were conforming. She knew the rule was in effect. She just thought her clubs conformed.” Crouthamel added that the association sent an e-mail out to players before the event reminding them that the new grooves were required and said he received some calls from players who were unaware of that fact or somewhat confused on the matter. A couple of players withdrew from the Tumble Creek qualifier because they did not have conforming wedges and could not locate ones in time. One other qualifier, notified on the first tee by the starter that the groove rule was in effect, asked to have her wedges checked. Two were not on the conforming list, leaving the player with just 12 clubs and nothing with more loft than a pitching wedge.
That’s unfortunate. Yeah, it is a player’s responsibility for knowing the rules, but it’s too bad there wasn’t a convenient way for Lee to make sure her grooves were conforming before the tournament. I mean, there are serial numbers and lists, but who thinks of doing that? I guess she should have. Well, lesson learned — and perhaps it will prevent other players from finding themselves in the same sucky situation in the future.
With Lee’s disqualification, Christine Wong of Richmond, B.C., earns the spot to next month’s US Women’s Open at Oakmont.