The Rules of Golf have claimed yet another victim. This time it was Ben Crane who felt its wrath. Trying to earn his PGA Tour card back at the Web.com Tour’s Albertsons Boise Open, Crane began his quest on Thursday on the 10th hole at Hillcrest Country Club, but before he even teed off on 11, he realized something was amiss.
That’s when the 41-year-old, five-time PGA Tour winner noted a decal on his driver used for capturing Trackman data and informed a rules official of the situation. Beings that he was in violation of rule 4-1 (carrying, but not making a stroke with, club or clubs in breach), he was assessed a four-shot penalty instead of the regular two since he was in between holes, the maximum allowed.
Had a new “that’s golf” moment today. Was penalized 8 shots for having tiny stickers on two clubs (help launch monitors collect data).
— Ben Crane (@bencranegolf) September 15, 2017
Then on 14, he realized he had the same sticker on his 6-iron and was assessed the same four-shot penalty. Crane sucked it up and played the remainder of the round in 3-under par. Not a bad 76, all things considered.
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) September 15, 2017
However, upon returning to the course on Friday, Crane approached Jim Duncan, Web.com Tour Vice President of Rules, Competition and Administration, and informed him that he had been aware of the 6-iron decal at the time of noting the driver decal the 11th tee box. The result was a disqualification.
“He came back this morning and said he knew he had the 6-iron. He’s got to make a declaration that that club is out of play,” Duncan said according to a Golf Channel report. “Either to a member of the committee, which he could’ve told (rules official) Andrew Miller, or to one of his fellow playing competitors. When he didn’t make that declaration, at the point he knew he had to take that club out of play, that’s ultimately a disqualification penalty.”
Moral of the story: take all stickers off your clubs before teeing it up.