This past weekend, Brian Davis, a PGA golfer who has never won a tournament, was in a playoff with Jim Furyk. As Davis chipped onto the Green, he touched a twig in his back swing. It was not discernible to anyone, but Davis said he could feel his club touch it. So he assessed himself a two-stroke penalty, and conceded the match for a second place finish!
By reporting this rules violation, Brian Davis not only lost an opportunity to win his first PGA Tournament, he also let more than $400,000.00 slip through his fingers.
Question: What would you have done had you been in his situation? Would you have reported the violation which would cost you so much, or would you have forfeited your integrity?
This story reminds me of the famous Bobby Jones. In the 1925 U.S. Open, Jones called a two-stroke penalty on himself when no one but himself witnessed his ball move after addressing it. Because of his honesty, he
ended up losing that event by one stroke. When he was later praised as a hero for his integrity, he replied, “You may as well praise a man for not robbing a bank.”
Brian Davis may have lost a tournament this past weekend, but he gained a fan in me for doing what some would think is incredible, but for him was just “par for the course.”