WILMINGTON, N.C. – When Willy Wilcox returned to Eagle Point Golf Club early Saturday morning to complete his delayed second round, his chances of making the cut were already slim.
He was 3 over par, two shots outside the cut, with five holes to play, which explains why he decided to put another putter in play when he resumed his round. Problem being, that under the Rules of Golf, a club can only be replaced mid-round if it’s damaged.
Wilcox immediately realized his mistake and consulted with a PGA Tour rules official, who initially told him the penalty was disqualification and Wilcox left the course without completing his round.
“Made an oops. Changed putters mid round, over night. That’s a DQ. Called self on it,” Wilcox tweeted.
Here is where things get interesting. Officials revisited the situation and realized that Wilcox wasn’t disqualified for the infraction, instead he should have received a four-stroke penalty, two shots per hole for a maximum of four strokes.
“We talked about it and realized it shouldn’t have been a disqualification,” said Mark Russell, vice president for rules and competitions for the Tour.
Wilcox was later informed of the change and tweeted: “It was a [four-stroke penalty] after I was told it was a DQ. If they would've gotten it right I would've been 5 [strokes] off cut with 4 to play.”