Rick Garboski was enjoying his time at the Hoag Classic on the PGA Tour Champions so much that he gladly gave away souvenirs to the young fans who watched him practice.
Qualifying Monday and a local pro making his Champions debut, Garboski was playing with veteran Mark Calcavecchia in Saturday’s round when he dropped two in a drink at Newport Beach Country Club.
That’s when he went to his bag to realize he’d given away a few too many souvenirs – it was empty.
Assuming his first PGA Tour Champions start was destined for a DQ, Garboski shook hands with his playing partners and awaited his fate.
However, a rules official said organizers could send someone to his locker to collect more balls. A penalty resulted for playing a different ball, then another came as he was held up by a group.
Calcavecchia said on Twitter that it was the first time he had seen something like this. Garboski called it a “total rookie move”.
Calc. I can’t argue – it’s really hilarious. Total rookie move on my part. Bad combo of trying to keep a light bag – while giving kids too many balls along the way. No bad publicity, right? 😜
—Rick Garboski (@Garboski) March 6, 2022
Garboski finished the round, carding a nasty 80, but rallied on Sunday with a 74 to finish one place behind – ahead of Calcavecchia.
“It’s an unfortunate mistake, and I’m going to laugh about it,” Garboski said. “I am so grateful that the Tour officials found a way for me to finish. Penalties didn’t bother me, because I just wanted to be able to play.
Here’s how reacted to the penalty.
Rick Garboski ran out of golf balls on his 13th hole.
He has never been so happy to collect three penalty strokes.
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) March 7, 2022
Here is the statement from the PGA Tour Champions Rules Committee:
“Rick Garboski hit his third shot into the penalty area on the par-3 fourth hole in round two of the Hoag Classic and couldn’t get his ball back. He realized he hadn’t more balls of the same make and model used at the start of his turn to satisfy the current one-ball rule Garboski requested a ruling and acquired another make/model of ball to complete the fourth The rules officer clarified that Garboski would receive the general penalty for a one-ball breach during play of the fourth hole and must play the make/model of ball used at the start of his turn from the area of the hole. teeing off to avoid disqualification. Garboski had balls of the same make/model available off the course and they were immediately brought to him as he completed the fourth hole. Unfortunately, Garboski had to unreasonably delay play from here nth tee for a short period of time as the balls were coming in and was assessed another one-stroke penalty under Rule 5.6a. Rather than delaying the other two players from Garboski’s original group, a rules official gave him permission to wait and then join the group of two players playing immediately behind him to complete the rest of the round.