Austin receives 4-stroke penalty
PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP)
Woody Austin couldn't decide whether he should keep his 3-iron or go with a hybrid for the second round of the PGA Championship. He accidentally went with both, which cost him four shots and likely the chance to play this weekend at Oak Hill.
Austin was assessed a four-stroke penalty Friday when he discovered he had 15 clubs in the bag. His 71 became a 75 and put him at 4-over 144.
"Can't say I was angry because it was more of a shock, so you're like pretty bummed," Austin said. "I think after 20 years, you do one stupid thing of each, and that's the first time I've ever done something like that. Now all I've got to do is figure out how to get DQ'd."
Rule 4-4 allows for only 14 clubs. The penalty is two shots for each hole the extra club is in the bag with a maximum of four shots. That was a moot point because it was on the tee at the 215-yard third hole that he looked into his bag and realized he still had the hybrid in there.
Austin gave it to his son, who carried it the rest of the front nine.
It was the first time a player had been penalized in a major for 15 clubs in the bag since Ian Woosnam at the 2001 British Open. The difference was Woosnam was tied for the lead going into the final round and make birdie on the opening hole. He had an extra driver in the bag, and because Royal Lytham & St. Annes starts with a par 3, Woosnam didn't discover it until the second hole.
Austin has made his share of blunders during his career.
He is most famous for once getting so angry about missing a putt that he repeatedly banged his putter against his head, a video sensation. At the 2007 Presidents Cup, he tried to play a shot from the bank of a lake and fell backward into the water, earning the nickname, "Aquaman."
Austin, who qualified for the PGA Championship only by winning in Mississippi last month, said this might not have happened in better weather.
Oak Hill already is long for him, and two of the par 3s are over 200 yards to elevated greens. He was using both clubs on the range and decided to stick with the 3-iron because he was hitting it better.
In a light rain, caddies had covers over the clubs to keep them dry. He did not blame his caddie, Dave Lawson.
"It's my fault as much as his fault. It's both our jobs," Austin said. "It's just one of those things. If it wasn't raining, we would have caught it. But you've got the rain cover over everything and you're worrying about the towels and whatever, so you don't see it. But if we would have been on the first tee on a normal day, clubs sitting there, you would have seen it. It's such a bulky club, you wouldn't have missed it."
Fittingly, he noticed it on the very hole — the par-3 third — that caused him to try the hybrid on the practice range.
"I never saw it until I dug in there for the 3-iron on No. 2, and there it was," Austin said.
Austin said he was still in shock even after signing for a 75. What bugged him as much as his extra club in the bag was making bogey on the 18th hole, which figured to be one shot too many to make the cut.
"I could have been even par and in the tournament," he said. "But instead I'm down the road. So I'm real disappointed."