The Rules of Golf can strike down in brutal fashion, and the U.S. Amateur is only the most recent tournament in which that was the case.
After shooting 73 in the first round at Riviera Country Club, Chris Crawford was gunning for a solid second round Tuesday at Bel Air Country Club to advance to the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur. During that second round, according to Philly.com, he became aware his caddie had used the slope function on his distance measuring device. This is a violation of Rule 14-3.
Crawford alerted a rules official of his caddie’s misstep, which would normally dock him two strokes. The only problem was that his caddie used the slope function multiple times during the round, which brought the punishment even further: disqualification.
ESPN’s Bob Harig tracked down Crawford for a comment Tuesday evening. "I was a little flustered and knew something was wrong," Crawford told Harig. "I asked my caddie what the deal was with his range finder. When he said it had a slope adjustment, I knew instantly that I had to disqualify myself. I notified the walking scorer in my group, and after getting in touch with a rules official I learned it would have been a 2-shot penalty if I had used it just once, but the second time is a disqualification. I have my own range finder and I know the rule, but I didn't think his would have that."
According to Harig’s report, Crawford was 2 under for his second round (1 over overall) when the disqualification occurred. Eventually, 4 over was good enough to advance to a playoff for the match play competition.
"I didn’t gain an advantage, but I know the Rules," he told Harig. "I knew what the rule was and I didn’t have a choice."