PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – An unusual situation played out Thursday at the Honda Classic when rookie Mark Hubbard was disqualified after failing to officially register for the event.
Hubbard began the day as the tournament’s first alternate, but he replaced Louis Oosthuizen, who withdrew prior to his 7:15 a.m. tee time. Hubbard shot a 4-over 74 at PGA National before being informed that he was disqualified.
While players face “disciplinary action” for failing to register before pro-am or practice rounds, the penalty under the PGA Tour’s player code of conduct becomes much steeper once the competition begins.
“A player failing to register prior to his first official tournament round shall be ineligible to participate in the tournament,” the policy reads, “unless satisfactory evidence of a mitigating circumstance has been provided to the on-site tournament director.”
Hubbard was told of the disqualification via phone by Slugger White, the Tour’s vice president of rules and competition.
“I told him I felt bad about it, but there was nothing I could do, unfortunately,” White said. “I hate it, I just do. But we’ve got to know where you are and what you’re doing. It’s unfortunate.”
The incident is not without precedent. Chad Campbell was disqualified prior to the second round of the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship after failing to register, a result that effectively ended his season.
“It’s for their own good because then their insurance kicks in,” White said. “You don’t need to come out here and hit somebody – there’s a lot of different things.”
Hubbard made seven cuts in nine prior starts this season, with his best result a tie for 20th at the Humana Challenge.