Tony Finau not DQ'd, benefits from inaccurate scorecard at WGC-Mexico Championship

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Tony Finau not DQ'd, benefits from inaccurate scorecard at WGC-Mexico Championship

PGA Tour

Tony Finau not DQ'd, benefits from inaccurate scorecard at WGC-Mexico Championship

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It’s rare in golf when an inaccurate scorecard ends up helping a player, but that was the case for Tony Finau at last weekend’s WGC-Mexico Championship.

Finau signed for an opening-round 74 at Mexico City’s Club de Golf Chapultepec. Then on Friday, his score was changed to a 73 due to miscommunication with a rules official.

On his first shot of the tournament, like many players, Finau missed to the left on the par-4. He found his ball up in a tree that was located in a fenced area that was established as a temporary immovable obstruction (TIO). After identifying the ball was in fact his and removing it from the tree, the rules official gave Finau a free drop outside the fenced area.

Finau thought he was declaring the ball unplayable and that his drop incurred a penalty. Gary Young, the PGA Tour official, told the scorer he was hitting his second, not third, shot because of the TIO.

Finau wasn’t aware of the TIO, and signed for a five despite his actual score of par (four). The next day he bumped into Young, thanked him for his help, and told him he made bogey with the penalty. That’s when Young realized the miscommunication and reported the issue.

“I took it to the committee and they were torn,” Young said to the AP. “I felt strongly there should be no penalty based on my miscommunication. We called the USGA, gave them all the details and they agreed it was a committee error.”

“That’s never happened to me before,” Finau said of the situation after finishing T-25.

Finau (-4) earned $93,250 and 39 FedEx points on the weekend. Players at -3 earned $85,000 and 33 points.

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