For golf, it's the Summer of rules

GERARD GALLAGHER, Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:02 PM ET

I know the feeling.

You wake up in the morning and realize one of three things has happened: 1) You have forgotten to set your alarm; 2) You have set your alarm, but woke up and turned it off; or 3) You set your alarm, which for some reason didn't go off.

Immediately you know something is wrong. It's too bright outside for when you were supposed to be awake. Your circadian rhythm is percussing like a drumline.

You sit up and call out loud, "Oh, crap!" Only you probably don't say "crap."

Jim Furyk knows the feeling, too. He woke up at 7:23 on Wednesday morning, seven minutes before he was supposed to be on the tee for his pro-am start at The Barclays. Furyk rushed to the course -- he didn't have time to put on a belt or socks and his shoes weren't tied -- but arrived in the locker room at 7:35, five minutes after his tee time.

He was disqualified from the tournament under the PGA Tour rule that says any player who misses a pro-am time, except for cases involving an injury or family emergency, is ineligible to play in that week's event.

So which situation got Furyk? That would be number 3.

"I overslept. I always use my phone as an alarm and it had no power this morning," Furyk said. "I don't know if something happened with the charger or what but I never got it."

Tour rules official Slugger White said his hands were tied.

"A commitment to play in the tournament is a commitment to play in the pro- am," said White. "It is unfortunate for Jim. It is unfortunate for the tournament. He is a fan favorite and everybody likes him."

Furyk made the PGA Tour playoffs -- which start at The Barclays -- after finishing No. 3 in regular season FedEx Cup points. He should safely make it through to the end -- fields are pared down weekly from 125 to 100 to 70 and then 30 for the finale at the Tour Championship. But he will still miss out on a $7.5 million tournament, and the chance to improve his position, for breaking one of golf's myriad rules.

"I played my heart out all year," said Furyk, who has won twice this season and is ranked No. 6 in the world. "I've got no one to blame but myself."

Of course, Furyk is only the latest in a line of golfers who have had run-ins with the rule book this year.

In April, three LPGA Tour players were disqualified from the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, for missing their pro-am times. Among them was Maria Hjorth, who took to her Twitter account Wednesday to comment on Furyk's ouster.

"So I am not the only one getting dq'd from an event for missing a proam," Hjorth wrote. "Heard Jim F. slept in today and will not be playing. Stupid rule!"

Coincidentally, Furyk was the beneficiary of a rules infraction a couple of weeks later when Brian Davis called a two-stroke penalty on himself in a playoff at the Heritage. Davis' club hit a loose impediment in a hazard next to the green and Furyk won the tournament.

"I'm happy I won," Furyk said at the time, "but I feel badly for him."

"Live by the rules," said Davis.

And die by them.

Last Saturday, LPGA player Juli Inkster was disqualified from the Safeway Classic for using a weighted "donut" on her club while she warmed up before hitting her tee shot at the 10th hole.

The same day, Canadian Tour player Jose de Jesus Rodriguez was disqualified after failing to sign his scorecard for the third round of the Seaforth Country Classic. The score? A 10-under 61 that had Rodriguez in the lead by three shots.

"It's harsh," said Darren Griff, who assumed the 54-hole lead. "There's not much you can say."

Inkster was ratted out by a TV viewer who spotted the infraction and e-mailed the tour. The golf Hall of Famer was trying to stay loose during a 30-minute wait at the hole.

"It had no effect on my game whatsoever, but it is what it is," she said. "I'm very disappointed."

Inkster violated a rule in the USGA book regarding the use of artificial devices or unusual equipment. It's the same rule -- 14-3 -- that got NFL great Jerry Rice disqualified from a Nationwide Tour event in May. Rice's caddie was pinched for using a range-finder to measure distance.

Dustin Johnson's caddie was at least partially to blame when Johnson was disqualified from the PGA Championship two weeks ago for grounding his club in a bunker on the final hole.

Johnson missed out on a playoff that was won by Martin Kaymer after committing one of the biggest rules blunders in golf history. His caddie and the walking rules official shared in the blame, but ultimately the mistake was Johnson's.

"Never once did it cross my mind it was a sand trap," he said.

Sadly, I am also guilty of a rules infraction. I have been disqualified from my 9-hole Tuesday night league for failing to post the minimum number of scores. Seems I was supposed to play at least eight times. I played seven.

Oh, crap.


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