Mendoza: Lessons at Fil-Am Golf

Al S. Mendoza

IT HAS to be said here in the hope that it may not happen again.

Banong goes straight to a rulesman after his round in the ongoing DOT-Fil Am Golf Invitational supported by San Miguel Corp.

“I played two balls in one hole and made bogeys on both,” says he.

“Then, it’s bogey for you,” says the rulesman.

“Thank you,” says Banong. He leaves immediately.

Minutes later, Banong’s flight mates arrive.

They say Banong made double bogey on his first ball and not bogey.

Before the rulesman could speak, Banong arrives.

Banong repeats what he said to the rulesman: Bogeys on both holes.

When no one questioned him, Banong leaves.

Then his flight mates start yakking.

“I was not at the scene when it happened,” Roquing says. “But Rading was there [pointing to Rading].”

Rulesman asks Rading what happened and why didn’t he raise the infraction issue when Banong was around.

“No, I’m not complaining,” Rading tells the rulesman. “I just want to be educated. Please educate me.”

“I take Banong’s word that he made two bogeys and so, his score on that hole is bogey,” the rulesman tells Rading. “No one among you questioned it and so it stands. In the same manner that if you say you scored par and no one from your flight mates disputes your claim, then you have par.”

In the Committee meeting later, a letter contesting Banong’s score was filed by a team captain.

The Committee found Banong guilty of an infraction on his original ball, transforming his bogey into a double bogey for touching a ball in play.

Just for clarity on the two-ball rule: “The competitor MUST report the facts of the situation to the Rules Committee before returning his scorecard…”

Unfortunately, Banong reported only one fact: He scored bogeys on both balls. Then he left.

The rulesman was also at fault for not asking Banong how he made his two bogeys before making a ruling.

One significant issue: Roquing and Rading signed the submitted complaint. Wrong. Roquing had admitted not being present during the incident. Rading had told the rulesman he’d never complain.

Bothered by his conscience when a lawyer cited unsportsmanlike conduct, Rading apologized to Banong the next day.

Roquing? Just a shoulder shrug.

The rulesman? He takes Anthony de Leon’s counsel: “Move on.”

You can’t be right at all times.