Brian Davis couldn’t deny what he saw and knew he was honor-bound to tell the world.
Davis ticked a loose reed during his backswing yesterday on the first playoff hole, calling a two-stroke penalty on himself that gave Jim Furyk a victory at the
“It’s just awkward to see it happen at such a key moment in the golf tournament,’’ Furyk said. “Awkward for him to lose that way, and a little awkward for me to win.’’
Davis immediately asked for PGA Tour tournament director Slugger White and shared what he saw on the shot. White consulted with officials who checked TV replays and confirmed Davis’s worst fear: His violation cost him a chance at his first PGA Tour victory.
What Davis lost on the course will be regained in his reputation for his honorable act, White said.
“That will come back to him spades, tenfold,’’ White said.
That was little consolation for Davis, who rolled in a clutch 18-footer for birdie on his final hole to catch Furyk at 13-under-par 271 and force overtime.
Davis’s troubles began with his approach, a wayward 7-iron that hit the left edge of the green, rattled off the rocks boarding Calibogue Sound and settled among some grass, twigs, and reeds. Davis’s error, a violation of rule 13.4 against moving a loose impediment during a takeaway, was indiscernible but for slow-motion replays.
“It was one of those things I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. And I thought we’d check on TV, and indeed there was movement,’’ Davis said.
He immediately conceded victory to Furyk, who putted out for his 15th PGA Tour win and second since March.
Furyk didn’t know what to do at first.
He raised his putter and tipped his cap to the cheering and confused crowd, then embraced his children who ran to meet their championship dad.
“I want to react to the crowd and kind of wave and let them know, that, ‘Hey, I’m excited,’ ’’ Furyk said. “But I don’t want it to take away from Brian.’’
Champions — Bernhard Langer shot a 9-under 133 through the first two rounds of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in Lutz, Fla., and that total was all that mattered when the final round was called off because of rain.
Mark O’Meara and Mike Reid wound up in second, one stroke behind, as Langer won for the 10th time on the Champions Tour.
Nationwide — Former UCLA star Kevin Chappell won the Fresh Express Classic by birdieing two of the last four holes for a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over David Hearn in Hayward, Calif.