BYU Golfer Forfeits Over Religious Beliefs

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JEREMY RANCH, Utah -- Clark Rustand won the Utah State Amateur golf tournament Saturday when his opponent wouldn't play on Sunday because of his religion.
 
Todd Miller, a Brigham Young golfer and son of former PGA veteran and golf analyst Johnny Miller, was scheduled to play Rustand for the title Sunday at Jeremy Golf and Country Club. But he announced after his round Saturday that he couldn't play on Sunday.
 
'What I do on Sundays is more important than golf,' Miller said.
 
Todd Miller and Rustand met with Utah Golf Association officials, who decided to award Rustand the traveling trophy and proclaim him the 106th tournament's champion. It was only the second time the tournament was decided by forfeit.
 
Todd Miller is a teacher at his ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sundays. He said he didn't want to appear hypocritical after teaching the importance of not working on Sundays.
 
'I don't think I spoiled it for the others,' Todd Miller said. 'They had a chance to win. Maybe I spoiled it for Rustand. I can play him Monday if he wants.'
 
Because of logistics, course availability and other conflicts, a Monday playoff wasn't an option.
 
Tournament officials, who declared Rustand the winner, were disappointed.
 
'There's a lot more to consider than a person's religious beliefs,' UGA executive director Joe Watts said.
 
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