Lessons From the Division III National Championship Print

May 2010
By Tim Kilty

This year’s championship was most exciting as Methodist managed to edge out the hard-charging Guilford Quakers by one stroke on the 72nd hole to capture the 2010 crown.  The championship was conducted on two great venues, Hershey Country Club, where both Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan served as head professional, and the newly designed Hershey Links.

Unfortunately, we had three rules infractions that could have been avoided and are ones to look out for in the future.  One infraction involved the “one ball rule”, the second involved Rule 6-6d, Wrong Score for Hole, and the third was a violation of the Advice Rule, 8-1.

Concerning the “one ball rule”, and to the player’s credit he advised a rules official that he had mistakenly substituted a Titleist ProV1 for a Titleist ProV1x during the play of a hole.  That would have been a 2-stroke penalty; however, he suffered a disqualification penalty when he played the Titleist ProV1 again from the next tee! Ouch!

The second situation should be most familiar.  Remember Roberto DeVicenzo at the Masters a few years back?  He signed a score card that contained an error for one hole.  A six was on the card, when he actually had a five.  The six stood and he tied Bob Goalby, subsequently losing in a playoff.  In the Division III scenario, the opposite was the case.  The player signed a card where the score for the hole was a four, when he actually had a five.  That is an automatic disqualification.  The player shot a 74 that could not count in the team score.  Instead an 88 had to be included in the team score, a difference of 14 strokes! Ouch!

The final violation, involving the Advice Rule 8-1, happened on a par 3 where play had backed up.  Two players on the same team asked each other what iron they were going to use – a no-no.  The rule specifically states that a player must not give advice to anyone in the competition playing on the course, other than his partner.  Unfortunately, a fellow teammate is NOT a partner.  If their coach was on the tee at the same time, they could have asked the coaches what iron to use.  Each player received two penalty shots. Ouch!