Doris Chen has strongly denied her mother had anything to do with kicking her ball back in bounds at last week's LPGA Q-Series tournament, but her caddie Alex Valer has revealed it's a complete lie.
Chen, a former NCAA champion, was DQ’d from the tournament during Round 7 after the LPGA investigated a complaint that she played a ball that she had hit out of bounds after her mother moved the ball back in bounds.
The LPGA said in a statement that Chen was penalised for violating Rule 15-3b, despite being informed that an "outside agency" moved her ball.
Under the Rules of Golf, if you play a golf ball that has been moved, you must replace it and play from where it was originally positioned.
Since the incident, Chen spoke to Golf Channel's Randall Mell and expressed a number of interesting comments.
"Doris Chen told me she was frustrated and heartbroken by all of this, and that it's all a misunderstanding," said Mell.
"Chen and her caddie were overlooking for her ball in the trees when a spectator found the ball. They were assessing the lie and then a homeowner came running out the back of a house and told her that someone had kicked her ball.
"The person said the ball was kicked from a good lie to a bad lie, and Doris said the homeowner never told her that the ball was out of bounds when it was kicked.
"Doris therefore said she decided to play the ball because she believed that even if it was kicked, it was a live ball and that she was required to play it from where it ended up. She didn't think it mattered if it was kicked.
"She also said she couldn't really trust the homeowner as to what really happened. She also told me her group was on the clock and that she felt pressured to get back into position."
Mell then quizzed Chen as to whether her mother was anywhere near the scene, as first reported, to which Chen strongly denied.
"She told me her mother was following her but that she was far up by the green and not anywhere near the incident. She told me her mother didn't move the ball.
"She said 'I'm not a cheater' and that she would have always called in a rules official for anything like this. She says she has learned her lesson and wants to move on.
"Interestingly, she later added that she didn't want me to write anymore about this incident, but I told her that this was my job to get to the bottom of what had happened."
Then things get really interesting. Her caddie, Alex Valer, has a completely different take on matters...
"It's a mess," Valer told Mell. "Doris did the wrong thing. I’m just trying to do the right thing, to be fair to all those players at Q-Series who have worked so hard for a whole year.
"He told me that neither he or Doris saw the ball, or exactly what happened, but that a woman came running over to say the ball had been moved by a spectator. The person she was pointing at was Doris' mother.
"He didn't know if the ball was out of bounds when it was moved, but when he saw Doris' mum there he knew it that this could be a total disaster.
"He said he was upset when Doris played the shot from where it had been moved to. He kept telling Doris that she could be disqualified, and that it was still not too late to explain what had happened to avoid a disqualification.
"Even walking up to the 18th green, he said 'Doris, if you misplayed that shot back there and you sign your card, you could be DQ'd.' That's ultimately what happened."