PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – The Rules of Golf delivered another cold, cruel blow here at the LPGA’s season opener.
Marina Alex, playing in her first event as a full LPGA member, estimates she stepped about 3 feet outside the scoring tent on Thursday after checking her scorecard following the first round of the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic when she was alerted that she neglected to sign her card. Because she technically left the scoring area, she was disqualified.
Alex, 23, a Vanderbilt graduate, earned her tour card finishing third on the Symetra Tour money list last season. She shot 3-over-par 76 on Thursday in just her fifth start in an LPGA event.
“It was really bizarre,” Alex told GolfChannel.com by phone from her hotel room Friday morning. “I took one step outside scoring, about 3 feet, but it is what it is.
“I was upset, but I was more mad at myself. I knew I wasn’t focused in scoring the way I should have been, and I paid a price for it.”
Alex said she was keeping fellow competitor Laura Diaz’s scorecard, as is LPGA custom, and she signed that card. She said she thoroughly checked scores on her own card before turning it over to the volunteer in scoring.
“I was going through what I normally do, checking my scores hole by hole, but I didn’t have a great day on the course, and I was a little distracted,” Alex said. “My hip was bothering me, and I was thinking I need to get over to see the trainer. I knew I signed Laura’s scorecard, but I didn’t realize I did not sign mine.
“I handed my card over to scoring, asked if everything was OK. I was told, ‘Yes, everything looks good,' and I stepped outside the tent to my bag. As I was stepping away, I was told, ‘Wait a minute, you didn’t sign your scorecard.’”
When Alex asked Diaz about it, Diaz cautioned her about signing after leaving scoring. Alex wasn’t sure what technically constituted the scoring area; she had stepped just a few feet outside scoring to her bag, so she called LPGA rules official Brad Alexander, who delivered the bad news.
“I’m really sorry,” Alex said. “I’m not going to fight anything. It was a mistake, and I will never do it again.”
Alex expects to make her next LPGA start at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in three weeks.