Eddie Pepperell has fallen victim to the rules of golf for the second time in a matter of months after he was disqualified from the European Tour’s Qatar Masters on day one in Doha.
The Englishman hit the headlines at last year’s Turkish Airlines Open when he was disqualified for running out of balls midway through his third round.
On this occasion, Pepperell was DQ’d for signing for an incorrect score and quickly took to Twitter to explain the situation before the rumour mill entered full swing:
“FYI- My DQ today wasn’t due to me running out of balls, or hitting anyone, instead, I signed for a wrong score. My total, 71, was correct and I indeed signed for that. However, my partner had me down for a 5 on one hole where I made a 6, and a 4 on another, where I made 3…
“I picked him up on it and I changed the card to reflect the fact I actually made a 6 on hole 11 as opposed to a 5, and a 3 on hole 16 as opposed to a 4. I then however mistakenly changed the 17th hole, not the 16th hole on my scorecard and handed it in…
“Therefore this meant I was disqualified. Quite disappointing as I actually took the time to change the original error, only to make a costlier one myself. I asked the referee if this had any bearing on my disqualification but it didn’t..
“The rules are the rules and I 100% accept that, but I can’t help feeling that this particular way of disqualification is a fair distance away from common sense, and that’s also disappointing. I enjoyed the course however and hopefully next time I’ll do a better job.”
Now I know many readers far more knowledgeable than me will agree that the rules are the rules, that this is schoolboy stuff, and Pepperell deserved to be punished, but personally, this is the sort of pedantic knit picking that I believe will continue to hold golf back from attracting a new audience it so desperately needs.
OK, Pepperell should’ve been more careful, sure, but he signed for a 71 – his actual total – and therefore gained no advantage. He even attempted to rectify the original error and although he made a hames of it, at least he was honest.
As people have been quick to point out on twitter, the disparity between Patrick Reed blatantly improving his lie only to be issued with a two stroke penalty at the Hero World Challenge compared to Pepperell’s almost comedic clerical error seeing him removed from a tournament entirely is so far removed from common sense that it makes golf look the fool, not Pepperell.
This is human error as opposed to intentional deviance but it seems golf’s almighty archaic rule book can’t legislate for an honest human mistake. Until it does, that younger generation whose imagination we strive to capture so regularly will continue to be put off by idiocy veiled in tradition.