AUTHOR : ALEX BLAIR
Alex Blair joined the Texas Links staff in 2007 after graduating from the University of Texas. At Texas, he covered sports and served as associate editor of The Daily Texan, one of the state's largest daily newspapers.
He has been a fan of golf ever since he watched Payne Stewart sink an improbable putt to win the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. When he's not pounding the pavement for the magazine, he reads any golf book he can get his hands on and enjoys playing his own 9-hole pasture golf course in Hallettsville...affectionally known as "Hallettsville National."
He brought the skills, enthusiasm, love for the game and work ethic that it takes to help us put out the nation's best local golf magazines, but in 2010 Alex decided to go back to school to get his law degree at Notre Dame.
Basketball has floppers, baseball has drug cheats and the NFL has Spygate. In contrast, golf has people like Loren Singletary.
Many golfers were surprised to see a "DQ" next to Singletary's name upon their arrival for the second round for the 99th Texas State Amateur Championship at Houston Country Club. After all, Singletary is a well-known rules official, a member of the Texas Golf Association board of directors and a former member of the USGA executive committee. What they didn't know is that the story behind his disqualification would've made Bobby Jones nod in approval.
Singletary took himself out of the competition because he was unsure if he signed a correct scorecard after Thursday's first round. His playing partner, who was his official scorekeeper for the round, gave him a bogey five on No. 18. After sleeping on it, Singletary thought he might have made a six on the hole. Once he signed the scorecard showing a five on No. 18, the Rules of Golf call for his disqualification if he indeed did make six.
By his own admission, Singletary played "16 good holes" in Thursday's first round. A triple bogey eight on the par-5 17th derailed his round and his focus.
"After that I was kind of in a fog," Singletary said.
Singletary drove it into trouble on 18 and is pretty sure he a tried a "heroic shot" that he failed to pull off. No one else saw that second shot. After getting on the green on what everyone else assumed was his second shot, Singletary heard his caddie tell him to "make it for par" and automatically registered it. So did the rest of his playing partners. Singletary two-putted for what he and everyone else thought was a bogey. He signed for his 81 and didn't even think about 18 until later that night.
"I'm one of these golfers who replays their round when they're lying in bed," Singletary said. "I got to No. 18 and I said, 'Uh, oh.'"
Problem was, Singletary wasn't sure made a 6.
"We talked it about it all night long," said Sis Singletary, Loren's wife and fellow rules official.
"I really wasn't sure," Singletary said. "The first thing next morning, I got my caddie and got my scorer. We got out on the course and went through it shot by shot."
Both golfers still thought Singletary might've made a five. TGA officials told Singletary that unless he was sure he made a six he hadn't technically signed an incorrect scorecard. He could play on. But Singletary wouldn't have been comfortable with the idea that he had a stroke that he didn't deserve.
So he disqualified himself.
"You turn yourself in," Singletary said. "That is what separates golf from any other sport. Besides, this isn't my last tournament."