Like many who aspire to compete on the PGA Tour, Blayne Barber's dream ended during one of the early stages of Q-school. For Barber, though, his journey stopped nearly a week after he holed his last putt.
According to a published report, Barber, who played at Auburn, called the PGA Tour on Nov. 2 to say he signed an incorrect scorecard, knowing that it would disqualify him and sink his chances of earning his PGA Tour card for 2013.
The cause for the infraction? Barber took a 1-shot penalty stroke when he thought his club moved a leaf in a bunker during the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School, according to Golfweek magazine. His caddie said he never saw the leaf move, but Barber still applied the penalty stroke to his score. The 2011 U.S. Walker Cup team member didn't realize the correct penalty is 2 shots until talking with a former college teammate after the tournament.
"I continued to pray about it and think about it, and I just did not have any peace about it," Barber told the magazine. "I knew I needed to do the right thing. I knew it was going to be disqualification."
In two starts on the Web.com Tour in 2012, Barber finished T-33 and T-15, earning a total of $13,000. "I just feel peace about it," Barber told Golfweek. "Doing the right thing and doing what I know is right in my heart and in my conscience is more important than short-term success."
Had Barber taken the 2-shot penalty, he would have still easily made it to the second stage of PGA Tour Q-school since he was 5 shots clear of the cut. His decision gave a reprieve to Jason Arnold, Corbin Mills, Jonathan Moore, Chesson Hadley, Robert Jan-Derksen and Maarten Lafeber. All six finished T-19 at the Callaway Gardens Mountain View Golf Course in Pine Mountain, Ga., but with Barber's DQ, they all moved up to T-18, good enough to advance to the second stage.