On Friday, five days after playing in the final round of the PGA Championship, golfer Cameron Tringale essentially disqualified himself from the tournament when he admitted he may have whiffed on a Sunday tap-in putt. The DQ cost Tringale the $53,000 he won for his T-33 finish and takes away 37 FedEx Cup points that could end up costing the 26-year-old a spot in the final playoff tournaments.
Tringale called up the PGA of America late last week to discuss his score on the par-3 11th hole. He carded a bogey four, but later had doubts about whether that was the proper tally. Said Tringale:
"While approaching the hole to tap in my three-inch bogey putt, the putter swung over the ball prior to tapping in. Realizing that there could be the slightest doubt that the swing over the ball should have been recorded as a stroke, I spoke with the PGA of America and shared with them my conclusion that the stroke should have been recorded."
Rule 34.1b (III) states that the penalty for failing to record a stroke is disqualification. So, five days after the tournament, Tringale was DQ'd, which forfeited his prize money and playoff points.
None of that had to happen. Tringale could have stayed quiet and no one would have likely been the wiser. He's not Tiger or Rory. The shot wasn't on television and was probably witnessed live by a handful of fans. No one was sitting at home, studying Tringale's round to see if he'd whiffed on a gimme. It doesn't sound like his playing partners, caddie or any rules official noticed either. If Tringale hadn't said a word, odds are no one would have thought about his bogey on the 65th hole of the tournament ever again.
"We are very appreciative of Cameron coming forward to inform us of this situation," PGA officer Kerry Haigh said, according to PGA.com. "It yet again shows the great values and traditions of the game and the honesty and integrity of its competitors."
Tringale, who's in his fifth year on Tour after a college career at Georgia Tech, fell to No. 61 in the FedEx Cup race when the points were removed. The top 125 players make the first playoff tournament, with the fields dwindling to 100, 70 and 30 in the final three tournaments, respectively. Though Tringale is on track to make the first three tournaments, he's only 64 points ahead of the 71st-ranked player. Should Tringale struggle when the playoffs begin, those forfeited PGA Championship points could prove important.
On the bright(er) side, Tringale's bank account won't be hurting too badly after giving up the prize money. The young golfer has made over $1.3 million on the course so far this year.