“It still stings. My Bay Hill DQ I can’t get over.”
Here’s the rest of the story. In 2010 I was second reserve for the Wednesday afternoon pro-am on, the day before the tournament began. At least, I ‘thought’ that was the case. I'd checked my time for the pro-am on the sheet posted in the PGA Tour’s physio truck in the carpark rather the clubhouse. Unfortunately, the one in the clubhouse had me as a reserve in the morning, rather than the afternoon. So, there I was getting my kids some breakfast Wednesday morning (I lived 5 minutes from Bay Hill at the Isleworth CC) when the phone rang. It was my caddy Wilbur and he said, “Mate, we’ve got a problem. You’ve just been DQ’d.” “What!” I said, “How’s that possible? We’re in the afternoon AND we’re second reserve?”
Back then the PGA Tour had a very strange rule regarding pro-ams. If you don’t show up, you’re disqualified from the tournament. Well, John Daly didn’t show up for his tee time in the morning (I’m still not exactly sure why), so they went to the reserve list. Ryuiji Imada was first reserve and wasn’t there. Ryuiji, like me, thought he was first reserve in the afternoon…DQ. Next in line was me… DQ. There was no third reserve so I’m not sure what happened then. It turned out the pro-am draw was updated Tuesday and the sheet in the physio truck didn’t get the update. The locker room did… and apparently, they go by the one in the locker room.
Needless to say, I was pissed for several reasons. 1) Why didn’t the physio truck sheet get updated? Answer – they weren’t sure, but it was my responsibility to look at the one in the locker room 2) I live 5 minutes away, why didn’t someone ring me? Answer – not their responsibility to ring players 3) Surely there’s a commonsense by-law within their regulations for situations like these? Answer – nope! In any case the rules were quickly change after the incident. The Tour started texting players their tee times and any alerts to withdrawals etc. As you can probably tell, I still haven’t gotten over that one, and it remains the only time I’ve been disqualified from a tournament.