by Shane Bacon
You can play golf many ways, but the rules only give you two paths -- you either follow them and earn respect or break them and become that guy.
At the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School, where nerves go to die, J.P. Hayes became a guy we can all respect a little more. A 43-year-old journeyman that has won on both the PGA Tour and the Nationwide Tour, Hayes was trying, like thousands of his golfing peers, to make it through the second stage of Q-School to the all important final stage, where you either get another crack at the PGA or the solid consolation prize of the Nationwide.
Hayes won't be getting either. This is because he broke one of the many rules in golf that can cause you to be disqualified. Hayes played a non-conforming golf ball for one hole in the first round, and figured out he'd broke a big rule while laying in his hotel room a day later.
On his 12th hole of the first round at Deerwood Country Club last Wednesday, Hayes' caddie reached into his golf bag, pulled out a ball and flipped it to Hayes, who missed the green with his tee shot. He then chipped on and marked his ball. It was then that Hayes realized the ball was not the same model Titleist with which he had started his round. That was in violation of the one-ball rule, which stipulates that a player must play the same model throughout a round.
"I realized there was a penalty and I called an official over," Hayes said. "He said the penalty was two shots and that I had to finish the hole with that ball and then change back to the original ball."
Two-shot penalty, no big deal, Hayes still shot a 74 after the penalty strokes and followed that up with a 71 in the second round. That was when he came to this horrible realization while hanging in his digs that he had done more than just evoke a two-shot penalty. Hayes might be in danger of disqualification.
Golfer Calls Penalty on Self at Q-School, Gets Disqualified, Now Has No Job originally appeared on Golf FanHouse on Wed, 19 Nov 2008 11:40:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.