Questions will continued to be asked after an American golfer, 54-year-old Ken Weyand, posted a 53-over-par tally to finish last by 39 shots at the inaugural Dubai Invitational.
Weyand ended the final round 72 strokes behind champion Tommy Fleetwood who birdied the final two holes to pip Rory McIlroy after the four-time major winner found water off the tee at the 72nd hole, leading to a bogey that allowed Fleetwood to leapfrog him.
Florida-based Weyland posted scores of 87, 82, 82 and a closing 86 for a horror 337 tally, far adrift of Sweden’s Jens Dantrop who finished 59th at 14-over in the limited 60-player, no-cut Dubai field.
The American’s efforts brought back memories of famed England golfer Maurice Flitcroft who shot a score of 121 in the qualifying competition for the 1976 Open Championship – the worst score recorded at Open Championship qualifying history, and such an intriguing story they recently made a movie on it.
Of course, there have been plenty of high rounds in men’s pro golf, including Tiger Woods posting an 85 at the 2015 Memorial and fellow Masters champion Billy Casper shooting, then aged 73 and using his lifetime exemption, shooting an Augusta National round of 106 that included a 14 on the 16th.
Included in Weyand’s four rounds were two remarkable birdies, but 25 bogeys, 10 double-bogeys, two triple-bogeys and a closing third-round quadruple bogey ‘8’.
Weyand received an invitation to compete in this week seemingly as a favour by the Tour to the legendary Michael Jordan who owns the Grove XXIII Golf Club near Jupiter in Florida, where Weyand is the General Manager.
English golfer Eddie Pepperell, a man not known for hiding his feelings, slammed the decision that allowed Weyand to tee-up in Dubai.
Limited man field, and old Ken Weyand gets an invite and then does this. I don’t care if he’s Ken from Barbie, it shouldn’t happen.
— Eddie Pepperell (@PepperellEddie) January 11, 2024
Even Pepperell’s caddy Jamie Herbert also joined in the controversy
Let’s be honest no one wants to see this…as a PGA professional and former DOG (Director of golf & DOG golfer) had I been given the opportunity to play Wentworth in the PGA Championship I would have jumped at the chance. Score would have been similar. Good luck Ken hope it was fun
Let’s be honest no one wants to see this…as a PGA professional and former DOG (Director of golf & DOG golfer)had I been given the opportunity to play Wentworth in the PGA Championship I would have jumped at the chance. Score would have been similar. Good luck Ken hope it was fun pic.twitter.com/t0SwsdrG2i
— Jamie Herbert (@Jamierayherbert) January 14, 2024
However, compatriot Richard Mansell who played alongside Weyand in Thursday’s opener had another view.
“Unfortunately, without the sponsors, this event would not take place. Whoever brings the money has the last word. I played with Ken today. A great guy and he invited me to MJ (Michael Jordan)’s course,” said Mansell.
Though not sure if Dubai Invitational first reserve and fellow Englishman Matthew Jordan would agree!