HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. PGA Tour’s new cut policy took another quirky turn on Sunday when Kenneth Ferrie withdrew and received less money than 18 guys who finished behind him, even though he qualified for the weekend and they didn’t.
Ferrie, the Englishman best known for playing in the final group in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, withdrew on Saturday because of food poisoning. He was at 4-under par and made the cut by three shots.
Under tour regulations, anyone who withdraws or is disqualified for any reason after making the cut is paid last place, unofficial prize money. Ferrie was given $8,798 (5,950), but it will not be applied to the money list, and he received no FedEx Cup points.
“It’s always been that way,” U.S. PGA Tour tournament director Mark Russell said, pointing at the regulations. “I’m reading out of the book of laws. We’re bound by these regulations.”
It looked odd because of a new cut policy in which the top 70 and ties make the cut, but if the number exceeds 78 players, only the closest number to 70 players can compete on the weekend.
Eighteen players, including U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera and John Daly, made the cut and had to go home. Those players were paid $9,699 (6,557) that counts toward the money list, and 46 points for the FedEx Cup.
The cut policy already has come under heavy criticism from some players. It was approved by the policy board in November, and designed to avoid weekends on tour when players are grouped in threesomes and start off both tees, leading to 5 1/2-hour rounds.
“It’s a stupid rule, I’m sorry,” Daly said.
In Ferrie’s case, he would have been better off finishing at even par.
However, the payment regulation has happened before at tournaments where weather delays forced the tournament to take the closests players to 70 or even the top 60 and ties for the final round. In one situation, Justin Leonard received last-place unofficial money even though he withdrew while in a tie for sixth.