There are plenty of ways to get disqualified from a golf tournament. You can pull a “John Daly” and run out of golf balls; oversleep and pull a “Jim Furyk”; or pull a “Robert De Vicenzo” and sign an incorrect scorecard.
On Thursday at the European Tour’s BMW International in Cologne, Germany, pulling a “Jose Manuel Lara” was added to the list, after the Spaniard was disqualified for one of the most bizarre reasons imaginable.
If you’ve ever played golf before, you know the maximum number of clubs you’re allowed to carry is 14. It’s the job of every caddie to make sure there isn’t an extra club hanging around before a round, but for some reason Lara’s caddie made the mistake of not double-checking the bag.
It wasn’t until the second hole that the caddie noticed the extra club. Golf is a game of integrity where the golfer is entrusted with calling a penalty shot on himself if he does something in error. This should’ve been the point in the story where Lara announced the mistake, added four strokes to his card (two strokes for every hole he played with the extra club) and continued on with his day.
But instead of taking the easy way out, Lara’s caddie tried to pull a fast one, disappearing into a bush — with the bag — to dispose of the 15th club. There was just one problem: playing partners Damien McGrane and Peter Hedblom were watching. Doing what any curious golfer would do, they approached the caddie and asked him what he was doing.
“They went and asked the chap ‘What are you doing?’ and he sort of fumbled out an answer saying ‘I’ve got this wrong – I’ve done something bad. I wish it hadn’t happened, etc etc’,” said European Tour chief referee John Paramor.
“It was clear the club was out of the bag and in the bush at the time. He admitted it straight away and regretted his action.”
Lara and his caddie ended up getting disqualified for what European Tour chief referee John Paramour called a “serious incident and warranted disqualification.”
“It was clearly the caddie doing what he felt at the time was the right thing, but was clearly the wrong thing,” Paramour told Sky Sports after the incident. “He’s kind of been asked not to come back and that’s how the matter has been resolved.”
The unfortunate thing for Lara is that he had no idea what was going on, but when his caddie decided to go rogue and dispose of the evidence, it ended up costing Lara a potential paycheck. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s the last time we’re ever going see him looping in the professional ranks.