x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Pulling out because you can't win? Tour players should finish what they started

There were 22 players who quit midway through the Memphis US Open sectional qualifier after realizing they would not earn one of the nine available spots in the US Open field. Show some semblance of respect, boys.

Ryan Nelson pushes his golf bag to the ninth tee on his way to a birdie on the hole. Nelson didn't let a little uphill climb deter him but some playing at other qualifying sectionals simply withdrew when they realized they had no chance to qualify for the US Open.
Ryan Nelson pushes his golf bag to the ninth tee on his way to a birdie on the hole. Nelson didn't let a little uphill climb deter him but some playing at other qualifying sectionals simply withdrew when they realized they had no chance to qualify for the US Open.

It is nothing new, really, but that doesn't make it any less annoying.

Monday was the day of reckoning for those hoping to land a spot in the most democratic tournament in America, the US Open, with sectional qualifiers loaded with PGA Tour players and amateurs staged across the land.

As ever, as scores soared, so did eyebrows. At the qualifying sites loaded with tour players hoping to secure a last-ditch spot in the Open, including Columbus and Memphis, player defections were nearly as notable as the few who survived the 36-hole march to earn a place on the tee sheet at Merion next week.

Indeed, 22 players quit midway through the Memphis qualifier after realising they would not earn one of the nine available spots in the Open field, a list that included the American tour winners Chris DiMarco, Brian Gay and John Rollins. Show some semblance of respect, boys.

Sure, poor morning rounds ensured they were not going to make it, but quitting in the middle of a round looks awful and can create hardships for pairings partners. Golfweek magazine called for the host US Golf Association to institute sanctions for those lacking the fortitude to finish the task, suggesting that tour players be forced to endure both tiers of Open qualifying the following summer if they quit early.

That idea warrants a polite golf clap. As far as qualifying holes, tour members would either play them now or play them later.

Or better yet, don't bother signing up at all.

 

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