Dan Forsman’s a very nice man and I was sorry to see he got disqualified from the Bay Hill Invitational on Saturday – through no fault of his own.
Forsman, was set to make a challenge at six under par for some much-needed cash to boost his chances of keeping his privileges on Tour, left his caddie Greg Martin to help playing partner Brett Quigley with a free drop at the final hole, while he went off to mark his ball on the green.
Quigley’s ball had plugged into thick grass by a greenside bunker and when his drop rolled into the sand, Martin collected it.
When Quigley dropped again, the ball started to roll towards the trap, so to save time, even though it had to roll two club lengths, Martin stopped it.
Instead of placing it where the caddie stopped it (Rule 19-2) and taken a two-shot penalty (Rule 19-1 also penalises the player whose caddie is involved), Quigley dropped again, placed the ball where it touched the ground, chipped up and holed out for what he thought was a 72.
Forsman signed for a 69, thinking he had made in-roads into Tiger Woods’ lead, only to discover both he and Quigley had been disqualified, after a spectator reported the incident.
"I felt terrible for Brett," said Forsman, where most players would have been fuming and immediately sacking their caddie. "I guess it’s poetic justice that we both got axed."
A typical response from the devout Forsman, who lists ‘the arts, church activities, politics and truth’ among his special interests.
We spoke at length a few years back when he partnered Scots lass Catriona Matthew to second place in the JC Penney Mixed Classic in Florida and was more interested in asking me what it was like living and working in England than he was in answering questions about himself.
As for Quigley, he said: "I didn’t call an official from the beginning. It turns out I was wrong, and I have no problem with the penalty. But I’m sick that it affected Dan. Clearly, he had no clue and no intent to do anything wrong."
Added Forsman: "My caddie was only being helpful. Now he’s devastated. I was on my way from Bay Hill when I noticed I had four messages on my phone. Two were from my wife, one was from a friend, wishing me luck and the other from PGA Tour rules official Mark Russell.
"He read the rule over the phone and said it was a two-stroke penalty. At that point, I was in a state of shock and knew I was out of the tournament."
*If you’ve been disqualified from a competition in unusual circumstances, tell us more on The Forum.