The Campaign For DA

12.03.2008

The Amazing Mr. J.P. Hayes

I've always wanted to be a professional golfer -- an odd desire for a guy who rarely plays. And when I do, I'm horrible. I'd probably struggle to break 90 even after a few rounds of practice. But the PGA looks cool. Fancy courses. Fancy hotels. Cool clothes. Some buddy of yours to carry your bag. One guy that has made the PGA tour in the past is J.P. Hayes. I really don't know much about him other than to know he had a horrible year last year and was going to have to jump through some hoops to stay on the main tour. And the hoops are hard to navigate: It's something called "Q School" which, I think, is basically a multi day tourney of the greatest golfers in the would who are not part of the PGA Tour. The top 25 earn their PGA card which is like a baseball player being called up to the major leagues. Hayes' first round in the Q School tournament, which was played in McKinney last month, had gone well. And he sat in his hotel room that night reflecting on his performance. Perhaps reflecting too hard. There, alone, he discovered that on one hole he had used a golf ball that was not approved by the PGA. Big deal? You bet. He had signed his score card that day which means that the use of the ball would cause him to be disqualified from the tournament. That is, if anyone found out. So what does he do? He picks up the phone, calls an official, and reports his mistake. Disqualification, and with it his chance to be a member of the PGA tour next year, was fast and swift. The guy won't starve. He's made a fortune in golf and he'll get to play in some tournaments next year because he's a past winner or because he'll get a "sponsors exemption." But, still, what a story.