Golfer Wins Florida Mid-Amateur Championship After Caddie Punches Opponent In The Face During Rain Delay
The Florida State Golf Association’s 37th Mid-Amateur Championship was held a week ago but the dramatic story of how it wrapped up is just being told. This story has it all: rules disputes, recusals, Florida thunderstorms, and assaults.
Golfer Marc Dull won the event at Coral Creek Club in Placida, Florida after his opponent Jeff Golden withdrew. This happened when the two golfers were all square (match play) through 16 holes but were coming off a lengthy 2.5-hour rain delay which involved the police showing up to investigate an assault on Jeff Golden by Marc Dull’s caddie Brandon Hibbs.
The FSGA website reports that Golden said he was “due to an unfortunate injury” and conceded the match. That injury *most likely* refers to how he got punched in the face by his opponent’s caddie in the parking lot during an altercation stemming from a dispute on the 9th hole of the match where the golfer asked the other golfer if the hole was damaged or if there was debris and the caddie interjected “Don’t worry about it,” Hibbs reportedly told Golden, according to Lavner. “If you’re going to make it, you’re going around it.”
Golfer Jeff Golden told the rules official that this constituted (illegal) advice from the caddie and in return golfer Marc Dull lost the hole and fell into a 2-down lead. At that point, Hibbs the caddie, removed himself from the match. Flash forward to the rain delay and the caddie approached golfer Jeff Golden in the parking lot, apologized, and then punched Golden in the face. The police game, a police report was filed but Golden didn’t press any charges.
The Golf Channel‘s Ryan Lavner spoke to the golfers about what unfolded after the assault:
Once the police left, it was up to the FSGA to determine how to proceed.
With the course now playable after a two-hour delay, under the Rules of Golf, the players were expected back on the 17th hole.
Golden asked Dull whether he would concede the match.
“I said that I wasn’t going to concede,” Dull said. “Why would I concede the match when I was sitting in the shelter, and when I come back someone is accused of being hit?”
So Golden then decided to concede, handing the Mid-Am title to Dull, the reigning FSGA Amateur Player of the Year.
“I just wanted to get home,” Golden explained later.
Asked last week for more details about the final result, Jeff Magaditsch, the organization’s director of tournament operations, said in an email that Golden “expressed concern about a wrist issue” and that “not much additional information is available.” (via)
After all that it seems kind of strange to just concede. You get punched in the face by your opponent’s caddie during a rain delay, you decline to press charges, and then you quit the match with only two holes left. He admits he just wants to get home but you’ve been prepping for this match for how long? Your entire life? Why not just go out there and play two more holes? Why not press charges if the dude jacked you in the face out of nowhere? Why does Florida seem to be the only state in America were crazy shit like this happens on a regular basis?