LeBlanc DQ’d for unsportsmanlike conduct
There is not a lot of Monday morning arm–chair quarterbacking going on when it comes to college golf. The decisions by a golf coach are usually made prior to an event and geared toward preparation, with very little Xs and Os. Therefore, you don’t have discussions about a bad play–call, poor use of a timeout or players who should have stayed in the game.
However, this past weekend at the Tiger/Wave Classic played at English Turn Golf & Country Club in New Orleans, there is some discussion about a player being pulled out of the game.
Auburn defeated 22 other teams to win the inaugural event, but it was a disqualification that took place in the second round that is stealing the attention.
One of the top players in the field, Purdue’s Maude-Aimee LeBlanc – ranked No. 6 by Golfweek – was disqualified by her own coach for unsportsmanlike conduct. After 11 holes, Purdue coach Devon Brouse told LeBlanc she was done and to walk into the clubhouse. She was 11–over par at the time.
“This is about disrespecting the course, fellow competitors, her team, her school and the game,” said Brouse, who has been coaching college golf for more than 30 years. “This is not her first time.”
LeBlanc had been penalized in the past for conduct issues.
LeBlanc opened with an 8–over 80 and then came back in the final round to shoot 75. According to Brouse, LeBlanc apologized to everyone and came back in the final round, which he felt was big for her to do.
“She is aware of our team rules and is working on overcoming her struggles in this area. I do think she is a good person and wants to do the right thing. Her actions have hurt our team score,” Brouse said.
The Boilermakers entered the event ranked No. 4, but turned in their worst showing of the season with a 14th–place finish.
There is no question LeBlanc is one of the best players in college golf. She has been a Golfweek All–American in her first two seasons at Purdue, and was ranked 28th as a freshman and 19th as a sophomore. She won twice in the fall season.
This was not about protecting a player’s ranking, which some suggest. This was about coaching and teaching. LeBlanc is not alone when it comes to this sort of conduct. I would bet there are numerous coaches out there that have entertained the thought of doing this in the past and probably would have helped the player become a better player and the team become a better team.
“Let’s hope she can grow and learn the lessons that all young players have to learn in their careers,” said Brouse.
I have a feeling she will.