It Isn’t Over Till It’s Over Print

March 2011
By Clyde Luther

I have been associated with NCAA golf for over 20 years and looking back I vividly remember one Rule that has happened or almost happened so many times that I feel it imperative to bring it to the attention of as many players as possible and certainly the coaches as well.

What is that situation that alarms me, officials and certainly the players and the coaches after it happens? WRONG SCORECARDS!!!!

It has happened numerous times and a couple of times it didn’t have any affect on the overall team standings after going to the fifth man score. Back in the early 90’s at a Division III championship a player carelessly put down a score lower that he scored on a hole, and this came to the Committee’s attention shortly after he left the scoring area and he was disqualified. Then, at the Duke Finals Championship back in the early 2000’s, another player carelessly put down a wrong score, which was lower that he made on a hole and he was also disqualified.

This next one was about as serious as it can get. At one of our regional championships a player had played extremely well and it appeared he had the medal locked up. Shortly after the score was posted it came to the attention of one of the competitors that the player had posted a score on a hole lower than what he had actually scored, and he was of course disqualified and didn’t win the medal. But now comes the worst part. With his score not counting it was necessary to count the fifth player’s score which was not good and was disastrous for the team….they lost their spot that they were assured of getting in the Championship.

Then at another of our final championships in Ohio a scorer was able to alert a player and save him from a DQ. In this case the player had not played up to his or the team’s expectations and he was not happy with himself and as he entered the scoring area he proceeded immediately to put his scorecard in the scoring box, which finalizes the game. The scorer placed his hand over the slot and said “Don’t do that, sit down and let’s check it”. The player unhappily complied. A quick look at the card revealed a disaster that had just been prevented by an alert Rules Official in the scoring tent: the player, a top ranked player, had failed to sign his card.

The point in all of this is, always remember, as long as you play the game, to your dying day, the game isn’t over until the scorecard has been signed and placed in the box.