On day three of the 57th Annual Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship Tournament Bahamian golf member Thomas Bethel was disqualified in what he called “one of the worst days” of his golfing career.
Bethel who initially shot the best round for the Bahamians was disqualified for a simple misunderstanding of the rules which he never received.
“Definitely one of the worst days of my golfing career. Worked so hard to get back to 74 after playing like a monkey only to find out I was disqualified. On my 12th hole I hit my drive 340 yards into what was marked as a water hazard (red lines). I proceeded to take a drop within two club lengths of the line and continue playing. Upon completion of my round there was a rules official waiting or me,” he said.
“First of all I hardly saw a rules official all day, the first time he didn’t know what stroke and distance meant and the second he neglected to respond to our request to speed up the group in front of us. I called one on the same tee I hit it in the water to ask them to speed the group up in front of us but they never bothered. The group in front was 2.5 holes out of position. So I finished my round and the rules officials asked me what transpired on hole three (my 12th), my scorer then proceeded to explain that our group deemed my ball to cross the hazard and I took a drop per the lateral water hazard rule.
“However we were informed that there were rules sheets handed out the day before the tournament, which I never received, that said any red lines that did not have red stakes attached, to disregard. Therefore I breached playing a ball from the wrong spot.”
“Due to my severe advantage, the rules officials deemed the correct ruling was disqualification. When I was in the officials’ office I asked to go to the spot and review and we went. Upon reaching we saw the same red line but now with white X’s everywhere, to ensure that no further persons made my error,” Bethel said.
“While I accept the rules of golf and the apology of my manager I must ask what exactly these CAGC rules officials do? If they knew there were these areas in questions, as they obviously did, why did they not put white X’s on them before? This is not a vacation for you this is a serious golf event played by people representing their country. Again I accept that what was handed down to me. Let me clarify that I did not break an actual rule of golf but that of a local decision made by the CGA with poor representation Sorry for letting my country down and I hope to do better next year.”
Bethel apologized to his country and hopes to appear and perform better in next years golf tournament.