Three-time PGA Tour winner Scott Stallings was looking forward to his third appearance at The Masters in April and the third time receiving the hallowed invitation from Augusta National in the mail.
But as the days ticked by at the end of December, and his Tour colleagues began to post pictures of their invitations on social media, Stallings was still waiting. Well, there was a reason for this.
The 37-year-old, who earned his place down Magnolia Lane by reaching the 2022 Tour Championship, had to rely on a man with the same name, with a wife with the same name as his, to redirect some mail that was sent to him instead.
We'll call him Stallings No.2. He works in real estate in Georgia and his wife is also called Jennifer. As reported by Golf Channel, Stallings No.2 and Jennifer arrived at their holiday home in St. Simons Island on New Year's Eve to find mail from the famous venue.
Despite a brief moment when he saw his name in the lights, Stallings No.2 contacted the real Stallings on Sunday to confess and begin redirecting the letter to its rightful owner. The real Stallings suspected that his wife Jennifer had hidden the invitation as part of a Christmas surprise.
Literally had been checking the mailbox five times a day and then I got this random DM yesterday pic.twitter.com/yMvUYm3ioK— Scott Stallings (@stallingsgolf) January 2, 2023
The real Stallings shared the message that Stallings No.2 had sent him on Twitter saying: "Literally had been checking the mailbox five times a day and then I got this random DM."
"I play, but wow! Nowhere near your level. It’s a very nice package complete with everything needed to attend. I think we have some confusion because of our names, our wife’s names and geographical location. I can be reached at - and I am more than happy to send this package to you," Stallings No.2 said in the random DM.
The real Stallings, who is set to tee it up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions this week, concluded that his old management company having an office in St. Simons Island was the probable cause of confusion.
On Monday, Stallings No.2 posted images on Twitter of himself in the UPS Store preparing to send the letter to his Tour-level likeness. One can only imagine the sadness of his visit to the post office.
It has been mailed to the other @stallingsgolf pic.twitter.com/CqLaY4n2Dv— TheStallingsTeam (@stallingsteam) January 2, 2023
"We're going to give him some practice-round tickets and take him to dinner on Monday night for doing the right thing," the real Stallings told ESPN.com. A class touch indeed from the man looking for his first win on Tour in nine years this week in Kapalua.
At the end of December, Augusta National announced that it would not alter its qualification criteria for those exempt from playing in the 2023 Masters tournament, regardless of their involvement with LIV Golf.
The current criteria include past winners of the US Open (five years), The Open (five years), the USPGA Championship (five years), The Masters itself (lifetime) and The Players Championship (three years).
This ruling will allow the likes of Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka to keep their playing rights.