Pro On Missed Cut: I Got Screwed

The point of golf is to make birdies, not hit them.

Kelly Kraft knows that all too well. The Dallas-based pro saw his chances of making the cut at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town go to the birds on Friday.

Kelly’s 7-iron off the 14th tee hit a “giant black bird” and fell helplessly into the water hazard. The bird flew away, and Kraft called for a ruling, according to PGA  He wanted to cancel the shot and take another. Instead, he had to play it from the drop area and finished with a double bogey. 


As it turned out, Kraft finished the second round at 1-over par and missed the cut by one stroke.

“It cost me the cut, most likely,” Kraft said, per “There was a helping wind, and I hit a 7-iron, caught it perfect. It was probably 30 yards off the tee box, and this giant, black bird swooped in front of it and hit it and the ball fell 20 yards short in the water. It would’ve been in the middle of the green. It might have been close. I got screwed.”


Golf balls hitting birds are rare on the golf course, but it does happen on occasion. No one in the group knew the rule when Kraft’s ball hit the bird. Kraft went to a rules officials and asked if he could cancel-and-play.  The cancel-and-play rule is for balls that hit a permanent, elevated powerline. A moving bird does not qualify.  


“The big difference is a bird is a God-made object,” said Dillard Pruitt, a Tour rules official, to “Whereas a telephone wire is man-made. It’s just a stroke of bad luck. It doesn’t happen very often, but today is Friday the 13th. Freaky Friday.” 

Kraft strongly felt the ball was heading to the green and that the bird robbed him a chance at the cut. He also thinks the rule needs to change. If the ball was resting and a bird moved the ball, it can be replaced, per rule 18-1. Not in this case.  

“It’s kind of a dumb rule that you can’t re-tee there,” Kraft said. “If you hit a power line, you can re-tee, and if a bird moves your ball while it’s resting you can replace it. But there’s nothing you can do about this. This has got to be more unusual than a hole-in-one. Two moving objects colliding? I mean you hit balls all day long on the range and you don’t hit another ball in the air.”


Kraft does have a sense of humor, going on to his Twitter account to express his view.

Hopefully, Kraft’s sense of humor carried over into the weekend as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) gave a statement on the situation to USA TODAY on Saturday that burned Kraft pretty good. 

“PETA is glad the bird is OK and sorry Kelly Kraft didn’t advance, but that’s not the bird’s fault,” PETA representative Lisa Lange said. “Of course, he would have advanced if he’d played better on other holes — so practice, practice, practice.”


Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest goings-on in the world of golf by following the SwingxSwing Clubhouse on social media. We share stories, stats and breaking news on Twitter, keep the fun going off the course on Instagram and share any and all golf-related topics on Facebook.

Swing by Swing Golf, Inc. is a golf mobile app, media, and entertainment company. The company owns and operates businesses across the following golf categories: GPS, Scorecard & On-the-Course Statistics, Tee Times, Instruction, E-Sports, Publishing, Social Influencer Marketing, Research & Analytics, and Apparel. The company was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut.

The SwingxSwing Clubhouse entertains its millions of golfer and golf enthusiast visitors with compelling content on professional golf, instruction, equipment, comedy and other lifestyle categories on a daily basis.

Never be the odd golfer out when your friends are talking about the latest or funniest happenings in golf. Sign up for the SxS newsletter today!