On Friday evening, he received a phone call from Mark Russell, the PGA Tour’s vice president of rules and competitions, more than three hours after he signed for a three-over 75 at a soggy Pebble Beach. Russell was calling to inform Points that he had violated Rule 14-3, according to GolfChannel.com’s Jason Sobel:
While enduring what Points called a “15- 20-minute wait” on the iconic par-5 final hole, during which he and pro-am partner Condoleezza Rice even had time to snap a few photographs, Points pulled from his bag a spongy green ball he had been given by instructor Grant Waite a few weeks previously. Points placed the ball under his right arm to emulate a few swings. The act was caught on video by a spectator and the player was found in violation of Rule 14-3. The ensuing result was disqualification.
“We were standing on the tee; it’s cold, it’s raining,” Points explained to GolfChannel.com via phone. “I pull out the ball and make some dry practice swings, just trying to loosen up. I come to find out it’s an unusual training device, something you wouldn’t have in your bag.”
Had he instead used a headcover, towel or glove, Points wouldn’t have been in violation of the rule. Instead, it’s the fact that the spongy green ball doesn’t always reside in his golf bag that led to the violation.
Even nearly two hours after the ruling, he still sounded shellshocked.
OK, I sympathize with Points and it’s unfortunate he was disqualified, but this isn’t the first time a pro has been penalized for breaching this particular rule and it never fails to baffle me — c’mon, it’s like rules 101 and amateur hour.
Interesting enough, Points remains eligible for the pro-am portion of the tournament. He is playing with the former secretary of state at Spyglass Hill on Saturday.
“It’s still an opportunity to play with her,” he told GolfChannel.com. “If maybe I can have a hot round and Condoleezza can play great, maybe I can help her move further up in the tournament.”
The duo is one-under total at the moment, which currently puts them near the bottom of the leaderboard at T144.
(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)