Golf is a difficult and frustrating enough game in and of itself. However, sometimes some odd mishaps happen that make it all the more frustrating.
For 24-year-old Wilson Furr, an innocent mishap may have cost him a lot more than just a two-shot penalty.
At Lakewood National Golf Club in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Lecom Suncoast Classic, Furr was playing with Alejandro Tosti and Mason Anderson, and they started their second round on the 10th tee. As they were turning from the 18th hole to the first hole, they saw a volunteer ushering players to the first tee in a cart since it was a pretty far walk.
“I asked the guy, ‘Are you giving rides to the first tee?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, jump in,’” Tosti told GolfChannel.com. “I know that I cannot jump in a cart that is not official, but this was almost like organized. It almost seemed like someone sent this guy to give us a ride.
“It was ready, waiting for us to walk off the green and give us a ride to the first tee, and that guy apparently was not supposed to be there.”
Instead, the driver was taking players from the practice area to the first tee but was not allowed to take anyone that had already teed off to the first tee.
The tournament was being played under a Model Local Rule that stated players and caddies could not take transportation during a round, except in instances of stroke and distance penalties.
A supplemental rules sheet did make one exception, however, allowing transportation between the seventh green and the eighth tee. A Korn Ferry Tour official told Ryan French of MondayQ.com the cart, which was gas-powered and noisy, was there because it had stopped while the players putted.
A shuttle was parked off the 18th green at the KFT event, it was driven by a volunteer who asked the players if they needed a ride.
It resulted in the threesome incurring a two-stroke penalty and may have cost Wilson Furr his job. The story here. https://t.co/g9jtUgYUEV
— Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1) April 21, 2023
Since this group was making the turn and not starting their round, they were assessed a two-shot penalty. For Anderson, it didn’t mean much – he was already on his way to missing the cut. And for Totsi, the penalty moved him from -10 to -8 and outside the top-25 heading into the weekend.
But for Furr, it turned out to be week-defining, and perhaps, career-defining.
Furr went from making the cut on the number to missing the cut by two shots. The bigger issue was that Furr, who had earned his KFT status based on his finish at the final stage of Q-school, was only guaranteed starts in the first eight weeks of the season.
After just three made cuts in those eight events, he sat in 148th place on the points list and in dire need of a solid weekend performance to move him up in the Tour’s reshuffle, which reranks the Tour based upon points accrued at the beginning of the year.
The missed cut at the Lecom could mean Furr falls outside the top-150, thus making his chances of getting into more events this season slim to none.
“This sucks,” Furr told GolfChannel.com. “There’s no way around it. It just sucks. To start the day, probably one of the bigger rounds I’ve played in my career, and I knew it, and for this to happen then, just ugh.
“We let (the rules officials) hear it. But after hearing the exact same response seven different ways, I just left. We weren’t getting anywhere. The guy’s word was final.
“I just wonder, is there no discretion?”
We all know the rules of golf are important and paramount to the game, but for something this innocent and accidental, it feels like the context should be important.