Penalty denies Carter spot in U.S. Am


DANIELS, W.Va. – An oversight Wednesday cost Pat Carter the chance to play in his 13th U.S. Amateur.

Carter and others in his group were assessed a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong set of tees on one hole in the 36-hole qualifier at Glade Springs Resort.

“I did something in golf I’ve never done before,” Carter said. “The rules are rules, and you’ve got to abide by them.”

The golfers were playing for one qualifying spot for the U.S. Amateur being held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco on Aug. 20-26.

As it often does at tournaments when more than one round is played on one day, the West Virginia Golf Association moved the tee locations after Wednesday’s first round to “freshen up the golf course,” WVGA executive director Ken Tackett said.

When Carter’s group arrived at the third hole in the second round, the golfers teed off from the same location as they did in the first round, even though the tee locations were moved to another tee area.

Matt Hicks, playing one group behind Carter, pointed out the mistake and Carter’s group teed off again from the correct location. However, they were assessed a two-stroke penalty for a rules violation. Had the group not corrected the mistake, it would have been disqualified, Tackett said.

The penalty gave Carter a 1-under 143 total, one stroke behind Hicks.

“We have to accept the blame,” said Carter, who has won the West Virginia State Amateur 12 times. “The Golf Association changed tee markers in between rounds and I guess none of us noticed.”

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