The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Mahan, Donaldson rack up 2-shot penalties after mistakenly play each other's golf balls

  • Print

PINEHURST, N.C. - Whose ball is that anyway?

Playing partners Hunter Mahan and Jamie Donaldson finally came up with the right answer Friday — too late to do either much good.

Caught up in one of those mistakes you're more likely to see at a junior tournament than the U.S. Open, each played the other's ball after teeing off on No. 18 — though they were playing their ninth hole of the day. Neither realized the mistake until they arrived at the green. Both got slapped with a two-shot penalty and missed the cut.

"It was 100 per cent on me. I was the first one to the ball," said John Wood, Mahan's caddie.

He went on to explain that both players use "kind of an interesting slash across the number, which is not very common" to mark their balls.

"The only thing I can think of is I saw a slash and assumed it was Hunter's. That's all I can think of," Wood added. "But still, it's hard to believe. I don't believe I did something that epically dumb, but I did."

Mahan shouldered plenty of responsibility as well.

"I mean, I don't know, it was one of those things I couldn't explain to you," he said. "Off the tee, it looked like that's where my ball should have been, and I couldn't explain to you how it ended up where it did."

After sorting out the confusion on the green, both players walked back up the fairway and re-played the shot from the correct spot. Each wound up making a 6. Had they teed off on the next hole without doing so, both would have been disqualified under Rule 15.3.

Mahan, who was 2 under going into the hole, composed himself enough to birdie the next one. But he wound up shooting 37 on his back nine for a 72, and won't be around for the weekend after finishing at 6 over for two rounds.

Donaldson, who left the course before talking to reporters, wouldn't have made the cut in any case. He shot 43 on the front, 38 on the back, 81 for the round and 11 over for his two days.

The debacle was televised on ESPN as commentators and former players Paul Azinger and Curtis Strange, a two-time U.S. Open champion, commiserated throughout.

"They're gonna kick themselves the rest of the day for that," Azinger said.

"Everybody should do it once," Strange concurred, "because you will never do it again."

Oddly enough, Mahan acknowledged afterward that he had — "maybe one time before. It's a fluke thing."

Wood has been caddying for 17 years and called this mix-up his first.

"You can't imagine yourself doing something colossally as stupid as that," he said, "but I did it. I won't forgive myself very soon after this."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

O'Shea says the team is going to stick to the plan after first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A nesting goose sits on the roof of GoodLife Fitness at 143 Nature Way near Kenaston as the morning sun comes up Wednesday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 07- Web crop-May 09, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google