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Wilson Furr

Tour players hit with penalty shots after bizarre rules mix-up

Confusion between several players and a volunteer at the LECOM Suncoast Classic ended in punishments being dished out – with one saying it has cost him a job
 

Several players were caught up in a strange rules kerfuffle at the Korn Ferry Tour’s LECOM Suncoast Classic – and it proved costly.

Having started their second round on the back-nine, Wilson Furr, Alejandro Tosti, and Mason Andersen came off the 18th hole – their 9th – at Lakewood National and saw a volunteer sat on a cart marked “shuttle” behind the green.

The driver offered them a ride and all three players, as well as their caddies, hopped on and headed to the next hole.

A while later, after they had just played their tee shots on the 4th hole, a Korn Ferry Tour official approached the group and assessed each player a two-shot penalty.

Transport between holes isn’t allowed at Korn Ferry Tour events, unless it’s stated in the players’ information packet. The only on-course shuttle cart available at the Florida event was between the 7th green and 8th tee.

It meant Andersen finished with a 77 and Tosti dropped out of the top 25, but it was Furr who was affected the most.

“This decision cost me my job,” Furr told Monday Q Info‘s Ryan French, who described the golfer as “upset”.

Furr added: “If this was a member cart, I deserve the penalty, but this was a cart parked right outside the tunnel, marked ‘shuttle’, with a volunteer driving.”

Tosti, meanwhile, told French that “it was the same shuttle we took to the tee, and he said he was an official shuttle”.

Furr is currently ranked 148th in the Korn Ferry Tour rankings, with the top 156 qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. His performance at Q-school earned him eight starts on the circuit, and this is his seventh of those.

A reshuffle takes place after the first eight events and, with players being re-ranked, Furr will probably run out of exemptions.

The tour has referred to a rules sheet put up in the player dining area that stated on which holes players were allowed a shuttle. The cart off the 18th green was essentially there by chance and stationary to reduce noise for the players.

Another group that included three-time PGA Tour winner and former Ryder Cup player Boo Weekley was also caught out. Weekley’s two-shot penalty meant he missed the cut.

One of Weekley’s playing partners, Jared Wolfe, had actually read French’s article and realised he had done the same before calling the penalty on himself.

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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