Gustafson Penalized for Caddie Mistake


Laura Davies beat Janice Moodie 5-and-4 Sunday to win the first-year WPGA International Matchplay Championship, but the story could have been a completely different one, as Swedish star Sophie Gustafson was penalized in her semifinal match with Davies in the most cruel of ways.
Gustafson, who entered the tournament as the top seed, had just won the 17th and 18th holes in her match against the Englishwoman to bring the score A/S, when her caddie Chuck Hoersch made a costly mistake.
After a quick bathroom break, Hoersch ' in an attempt to catch up with the two players at the first extra hole ' accepted a ride from a marshall, a breach of rules for tournament play.
Tournament director Ian Randell wasnt able to catch up with the group to inform them of the infraction until the finish of the 19th hole, after Gustafson had knocked in a nine-footer for par to tie the hole with Davies.
Upon hearing the news that she would be deducted a hole and therefore lose the match, Gustafson broke into tears.
Davies too was upset, and hoped that the rule would slide.
However, it was to no avail, as Randell enforced the decision, citing standardization of the rules of golf.
I didnt want to apply the penalty, he said, but I had to. It is a standard rule across all the tours and it applies here.
While Davies would go on to win the tournament, Gustafson recovered, and won her match against Carin Koch for third-place in the event.
Said her caddie Hoersch: I know what the rules are, but in my hurry to get to the tee and not hold anyone up, I made a mistake.
Golf Headlines for the Week of 9/10/01 - 9/16/01