Amateur Landon Michelson was disqualified under Rule 6-6d
for returning a score lower than actually taken in the second round of a U.S.
Open sectional qualifier June 2 at Quail Valley Golf Club in Vero Beach, Fla.
In individual stroke play, Rule 6-6 assigns the player
specific responsibilities regarding their score card. The competitor needs to
make sure of the following:
1. The score for each hole is correct.
2. The competitor’s marker has signed the score card.
3. The competitor has signed the score card.
4. The score card is returned to the Committee as soon as
These responsibilities fall upon the competitor alone and,
once the score card is returned to the Committee, no alterations are permitted.
The competitor cannot be penalized for tabulating their total score incorrectly,
as the Committee is responsible for the addition of the individual hole-by-hole
On the 11th hole at Quail Valley, Michelson three-putted for
a bogey-5. However, he mistakenly signed for a 4 on the hole. Michelson
returned his score card to the Committee and left the scoring area. Upon seeing
his second-round score posted incorrectly – a 70 instead of the 71 he thought
he shot – and realizing he may have returned an incorrect score card, he sought
out the Committee. It was discovered Michelson returned a lower score on the 11th
hole than what he had taken and he was disqualified.
The Rules place this great responsibility solely upon the competitor
because, ultimately, only the competitor knows their score on each hole. While
the penalty turned out to cost Michelson an opportunity to play off for a spot
in the U.S. Open, by seeking out the Committee after learning of the
potential error, Michelson demonstrated his integrity and the spirit in which
the game of golf is played.