At this rate, 2013 may very well end up being known as the Year of the PGA Tour Rules Violation. There have already been several very high-profile violations that have received a substantial amount of press. Now there’s one more to add to the list – veteran golfer Lee Janzen was disqualified from U.S. Open regional qualifying yesterday for wearing metal spikes.
He had finished grabbing a snack after playing 18 holes of a 36-hole qualifier at Woodmont Country Club in Maryland and was standing by his bag on the practice green. A rules official approached and asked if he was wearing metal spikes. When Janzen advised that he was, the official informed the veteran golfer than he was disqualified. “He said, ‘You can’t wear metal spikes,’ and I was disqualified,” Janzen said. “I have never not worn metal spikes. I’ve played in U.S. Open qualifiers every year since 2009 in Memphis (Tenn.) and Columbus (Ohio) and always wore metal.”
While it was going to be difficult for Janzen to win one of the eight spots up for grabs at Woodmont thanks to an opening 75, he was taken aback by the disqualification. “It never entered my mind,” said Janzen. “Considering I’ve played professional tournaments every week for 24 years now, I had no reason (to look at the rules sheet) to see if I was conforming.” Despite the circumstances, Janzen has accepted full responsibility for the disqualification. He did say that the rule was included in an email that was sent to the players but he figured he knew the rules after over two decades of playing professional golf.
Interestingly enough, Janzen has actually won the U.S. Open twice, both times with metal spikes. For his part, however, Janzen seems to be taking the situation in stride. “It’s not a great situation,” he said. “The good news is I didn’t shoot 65. Then I would be really mad.” I’m guessing next time he will take a closer look at the local rules to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.