FORT WORTH, Texas — Jeff Overton expressed his frustration on Twitter about his disqualification midway through the third round of the Colonial for illegally using a putting aid after starting play.
With threesomes going off the No. 1 and 10 tees after the weather-suspended second round was completed earlier Saturday, there was a backup when Overton’s group had completed the ninth hole. He went to a nearby putting green while waiting to tee off at No. 10.
Soon after coming off the course, Overton tweeted “3 group back up at the turn. Rules official tells me we can practice chipping and putting. Disqualified for using my practice putting aid!”
Overton immediately followed that with another tweet, “Why do rules officials initiate that conversation to begin with. I wouldn’t even have gone up there if I had know that. What a joke!”
Going to a designated practice area is permissible during a round, but use of artificial or instructional devices isn’t. The penalty is disqualification.
“If ur gonna inform someone on a rule of something a person can do, make sure u remind them of the small things they can’t do,” Overton added on (at)JeffOvertonPGA.
PGA Tour rules official Mark Russell said another player asked a scoring official about Overton’s use of an alignment stick on the putting green. Russell said he wasn’t sure if it was another golfer in Overton’s group.
“We don’t like to disqualify players. But that’s what the rule says. We don’t have a choice,” said Russell, holding a rulebook in his hand. “Yes, we hesitated a little bit.”
Overton, who was four under par and seven strokes behind the leader at the time, had already made a par on No. 10 and had just teed off at No. 11 when rules official John Mutch approached him. Mutch asked the golfer about the report that he had used the aid, and Overton confirmed that he had.
In the last of a series of four tweets after his disqualification, Overton said, “Tough break today. Looks like I gotta go back and rememorize a couple hundred pages of the usga rules book!”
When he does, it was rule 14-3/10.3 cited by PGA Tour officials.