Davis defeat: victory for golf, penalty for the punter

If golf is self-policing, Davis should lock himself up
If golf is self-policing, Davis should lock himself up

Apparently the outcome of the Verizon Heritage at the weekend was not just a triumph for Jim Furyk, but it was also a victory for golf because Brian Davis called a penalty on himself in the middle of the play-off.

Davis got himself into contention with a birdie at the difficult last hole at the Harbour Town Links at Hilton Head, to force the play-off with Furyk. But after hitting his approach shot into the shit, he suspected that he might have moved a reed on his backswing while chipping on to the green. So Davis called the referee over to grass himself up, the referee confirmed the offence after double-checking the shot on a super slow-mo TV replay and Davis was duly dealt a two-shot penalty which cost him a shot at the title.

Now I know that golf is supposed to be all about integrity and honesty, and Davis showed plenty by fessing up to his mistake. But he also showed a blatant disregard for those of us who backed him at 150/1 to win the fucking tournament. One hundred and fifty to one! Have you any idea how much money you have cost us, Brian? You should be ashamed of himself.

It’s not like you indulged in a bit of gardening to give yourself a better chance of hitting the ball, as us amateurs are prone to do (or is that just me?), or you ‘accidentally’ nudged the ball to one side to get a favourable lie (just me again?). You moved a twig, for Christ’s sake, man. Get a grip. You’ve never won a PGA event, and you never will either at this rate.

It just goes to show what a bunch of losers British golfers are and how unreliable they are when you place your faith – and money – in them. If they’re not bottling it like Lee Westwood at the US Masters, they’re turning themselves in for nothing offences. It’s as if they’ve got some sort of allergy to winning.

If you don’t believe me, remember that it was Englishman Mark Roe who got himself disqualified from the Open in 2003 when two strokes off the lead after the third round for signing the wrong scorecard. Then there was Welshman Ian Woosnam, who owned up to having 15 clubs in his bag when he was leading the same tournament two years earlier. Seriously, if he hadn’t owned up do you think anyone would have noticed? Don’t you think Tiger or Phil have ever made the same mistake and kept it between themselves, their caddies and another piece of gleaming silverware?

Of course, there will be some punters out there thanking Davis for coming clean, as there were plenty more (quite understandably) who backed Furyk than did the Londoner. But not the bettor that likes the golfing long-shot – and certainly not the oddsmakers. Particularly not those at Bodog HQ, where a picture of Jim Furyk, whom they had made a best-priced 16/1 at the outset, has been pinned to a dartboard. Forget Furyk, it’s Davis’ mug that belongs on the bullseye.