Jim Furyk disqualified after missing his pro-am tee time

August 26, 2010

It has been a rough August on golf's rules and procedures front. For the third time this month, a harsh penalty has come down for a fairly innocuous mistake.

Jim Furyk was booted from this week's opening FedEx Cup playoff event after missing Wednesday's pro-am tee time. A low cell phone battery caused the device's alarm to malfunction.

"I'm beside myself," Furyk told a PGA Tour liaison, "but I have a way of climbing into stupid situations."

He's not alone. The dust hasn't completely settled from Dustin Johnson's two-stroke penalty at the PGA Championship for grounding his club in a bunker at No. 18, and Juli Inkster was disqualified from last week's LPGA stop for keeping loose mid-round by swinging a club with a weighted donut attached.

Don't pin Furyk's DQ from the Barclays on the Rules of Golf, though. PGA Tour regulations stipulate that a player who misses his pro-am time — barring injury or family emergency — is out of that week's event.

It's a way of protecting the amateurs who pay some hefty prices to tee it up with the PGA's best.

A high-profile withdrawal at the last minute hurts the franchise, so Tour policymakers put the rule into place several years ago.

It generally comes into play about once a year, to little more than embarrassment. But Furyk is No.3 in FedEx Cup points and this gaffe could hurt him down the stretch.

When the points are reset before the Tour Championship, only the top five are assured of battling for the FedEx Cup — and its $10 million annuity — by winning the finale at East Lake. Anyone below that needs varying levels of help.

"No matter what tournament it was, I'd be upset," Furyk said. "But I'm more upset because it is this one. We are here at the end of the deal."

Tap-ins: The Wyndham Championship's experiment allowing fans to bring cell phones through the gates last week appears to have gone off without a hitch. Or more importantly, a ringtone. PGA Tour officials said the policy appeared to have zero effect on the competition. … Former Masters champion Mike Weir's season appears over after doctors found a partially torn ligament in his right elbow. Weir missed the FedEx Cup playoffs after finishing 128th on the points list.

— Jeff Shain

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