UPDATE: Chen told Golf Digest on Sunday morning that she did know that someone had kicked her ball from its original position but that she did not know that the ball had been moved from out of bounds to in bounds. She believed she could play her second shot as it laid without penalty.
Regarding the allegation that her mother moved the ball, Chen said, “She told me that she didn’t and she doesn’t know. And if she did, it may be by accident and she wasn’t aware.
“I was not trying to cheat and I am not a cheater.”
A former NCAA champion was disqualified from the LPGA’s qualifying event after hitting a ball that had been moved by an outside agency from out of bounds back into play.
The outside agency?
Her mother, according to two reports.
The ball in question belonged to Doris Chen, whose drive on the 17th hole of Pinehurst No. 7 in the seventh round of the LPGA’s Q-Series came to rest beyond the O.B. stakes. The LPGA said in a statement: “An outside agency moved her ball back in bounds. Ms. Chen and her caddie were made aware that the ball had been moved. Doris elected to play the ball, which was a wrong ball by definition, from its altered lie.”
Because Chen did not penalize herself for the violation before teeing off on the next hole, she was disqualified for breaching Rule 15-3b.
Sources told both Golf Channel and Golfweek that Chen’s mother had moved the ball back into play. An LPGA source told Randall Mell of Golf Channel that a homeowner on the course witnessed the infraction and described the woman to LPGA officials, who identified the culprit as Chen’s mother, Yuh-Guey Lin.
Chen, 25, won the 2010 U.S. Girls Junior Championship and the 2014 NCAA individual title as an undergrad at USC. But she has struggled thus far in her professional career. In 12 starts this year on the Symetra Tour, she has earned less than $1,000.
GOLF.com has reached out to the LPGA for further explanation of the incident. This post will be updated when we learn more.