Pro Penalized For Being Late To PGA Tee Time

David Lipsky’s second round at the PGA Championship got off to a disastrous start as he was assessed a 2-stroke penalty for being late to his tee time by mere seconds.

According to a release sent out by the PGA of America on Friday evening, Lipsky was walking toward the first tee box with his putter and a ball, but was not in the starting area in time for his pairing’s 12:43 p.m. tee time.

“David Lipsky was penalized two-strokes for being late to the tee (12:43 p.m. Tee #1) during round two of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black Golf Course,” the release said. “Lipsky, from Las Vegas, NV, was walking toward the tee with his putter and a ball, but was not within the area defined as the starting point.”

While there is seemingly no excuse for being late to a tee time when you’ve been on the property for over an hour, Lipsky’s playing partner Henrik Stenson shed further light on what turned out to be a bizarre decision by the rules committee considering Lipsky was only steps from the tee box when the penalty occurred.

“My understanding is that because we were 7:18 yesterday, I think he probably thought that we were 12:48 today and not 12:43,” the 2017 Open Champion said. “So he was on the putting green. I walked by him when I was walking down to the tee box, and then Rich (Sterne) came down. I didn’t really pay that much attention to (him). The officials started making the crowd give the countdown, which when you start on 5 or 7 (seconds) — or whatever they started on — then there’s not much time.

“So (Lipsky) came running down (the steps to the first tee), and the decision that they say is he had one foot on the steps of the stairs and then you’re not officially on the teeing ground when the time is out, and he incurred a two-shot penalty, which it’s a tough way to start the day.

“Even though (he) managed to make a birdie (on the first hole), hit it out of the rough and got it up close and made a 5 with that two-stroke penalty on the first, I think it set off his day in the totally wrong way and it was a bit of a battle to get into his round due to those facts. He was still hanging in there, had a bit of a rough finish, but hopefully he’ll still play on the weekend despite that mishap on the first.”

While the rule typically results in a disqualification, because Lipsky arrived on the tee within five minutes of his tee time, he was only assessed a two-stroke penalty. 

Lipsky’s 2-over par round of 72 was bumped to a 4-over round of 74, meaning he made the 36-hole cut on the number. 

Lipsky tees off alongside Shane Lowry on Saturday at 8:10 a.m. There’s little doubt that Lipsky will be inside the defined starting area a few minutes early.