PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Brian Harman summed up his situation perfectly Thursday at The Players Championship saying, 'I thought I was in the field twice this week.'
Instead, he's wasn't in at all.
But two sources told GolfChannel.com that Harman will now be allowed to go out Thursday as a single participant in the first round of The Players. He will tee off at 12:20 p.m. ET before the afternoon wave.
'I'm ecstatic,' Harman said.
Read carefully, because this situation got sticky for a moment.
Harman, a rookie left-hander, was the first alternate for The Players and thought he was in the field earlier this week when Fred Couples withdrew. But Couples earned an exemption as the Senior Players Championship and an alternate can not take that position, it just remains empty.
Then Thursday, in a perfect storm, D.A. Points withdrew at the last moment on the first tee because of a back injury and there was not enough time to find Harman, who had been at TPC Sawgrass on the practice range since 7 a.m. ET. So Robert Garrigus and Carl Pettersson – the remaining two players of Points' group – teed off for their 8:39 a.m. tee time.
Harman said he didn't blame Points for anything but originally called this a '$1.8 million mistake.'
'It's The Players Championship, you have to give it a go,' Harman said. 'I'd have to be in a wheelchair not to give it a go here.'
The PGA Tour contacted the U.S. Golf Association and the two discussed the episode.
A lot of scenarios were bandied about. Technically, Harman missed an available tee time and could've been disqualified. Or the PGA Tour could have found a way to get Harman into the field by splitting up a threesome in the afternoon into two twosomes – one of which could include Harman.
Instead, Harman will go off alone Thursday at 12:20 p.m. and compete in his first Players Championship.
Greg Owen has now moved into the first alternate position. Owen was in Orlando when he heard of the news and quickly jumped in his car to make the 2-hour drive to Sawgrass.
– Rex Hoggard contributed to this report