While the biggest names in golf were in Atlanta fighting over $34 million, the next wave of Tour stars were in Beechwood, Ohio at the DAP Championship, the third leg of the Web.com Tour Finals, playing for their livelihoods.
Matthew Southgate, a 28-year-old Englishman, had played himself into position to either wrap up his PGA Tour card for 2017-18 or be very close with one event left in the Web.com Tour Finals until Mother Nature derailed his final round and ended up costing him four strokes in penalties.
hurts more everytime i look at it!! https://t.co/rPSHXS0pBi
— Matthew Southgate (@SouthgateMatt) September 24, 2017
A leaf led to one player’s four-stroke penalty — and even worse — it might cost him a PGA Tour card as well.
Matthew Southgate was one over through 14 holes during the final round of the DAP Championship on Sunday, which is a part of the Web.com Tour Finals.
While Southgate was putting on the 15th at Canterbury Golf Club in Ohio, his ball was struck by a leaf that blew across the green, and it pushed the ball off line ever so slightly.
Southgate finished the hole, but he made a huge error in the process. Southgate should have placed his ball back to its original location and replayed the shot without penalty, but by continuing the hole he handed himself a four-stroke penalty (two for playing from the wrong spot and two more for signing an incorrect card).
The PGA Tour’s Rules Twitter account laid out why Southgate was docked four strokes.
Clarification on Matthew Southgate ruling on Hole #15 pic.twitter.com/BEfgjxOTCj
— PGA TOUR Rules (@PGATOURRules) September 24, 2017
Southgate, who was 1-over par entering the 15th hole, carded a quadruple-bogey 8. He then played the closing three holes in 4-over par as well, dropping him into a tie for 64th place, dropping him from 9th to 20th in the Web.com Tour Finals.
He’ll have one more week to secure his PGA Tour card at the Web.com Tour Championship this week in Atlantic Beach, Florida, but a leaf has added more stress to an already-stressful situation.
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