“Obviously it was not funny. I did not think about long-term effects and consequences of my actions,” Annie Brophy said Monday. “I was just out goofing around.”
Brophy said her scorecard was accurate and she never intended to turn in a false score. But she told people keeping track of scores every three holes to post on the leaderboard at the NCAA Central Regional tournament at the Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ind., that she had five birdies, an eagle and a bogey through the first nine holes Saturday on the par-72 course.
She had shot an 85 and an 81 in the first two rounds.
“I was not lying or cheating on my score. I was going to turn in my actual score at the end of 18 holes my actual scorecard. That’s how golf is scored, on your actual scorecard,” she said.
She never got a chance, though, because NCAA officials disqualified her and pulled her off the course after 14 holes.
Nancy Cross, a senior associate athletic director at Purdue and chair of NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Committee, said the problem was that because of the scores Brophy was reporting, Florida State, Oregon and Kent State waited around to see if a playoff might be needed to see which teams would advance to the finals. Eight of the 24 teams advance.
Cross said Brophy, who is from Spokane, Wash., couldn’t have turned in the false scores because in NCAA tournaments players keep each other’s scores.
“I don’t think she did it maliciously. I think she’s a great kid. It certainly broke our hearts to remove a senior who had a good career and is certainly a great kid,” Cross said.
Cross said all golfers were read a code of conduct the night before the tournament started warning against any acts of dishonesty.
“Lying about your score, that’s an act of dishonesty,” Cross said.
Brophy said she didn’t realize that reporting scores during the round was official.
“I was totally unaware of it. I wouldn’t have done it,” Brophy said.
The three teams waiting around all qualified for the NCAA finals, with Florida State and Oregon tying for sixth and Kent State finishing eighth. Notre Dame finished 17th, 30 strokes behind Kent State.
Brophy, who graduates Sunday with a degree in marketing and sociology, said she called the coach at Indiana University, which hosted the tournament, to apologize.
It was the second time in recent weeks that the actions of a college golfer drew interest. On April 27, the top golfer at the University of St. Francis said he intentionally hit a bad shot on the first shot of the first playoff hole at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship so a friend would qualify for the NAIA national championship.