Earlier this week, Justin Doeden, a journeyman pro who has grinded his way through various mini-tours, admitted to cheating at the Commissionaires Ottawa Open, a PGA Tour Canada event held simultaneously as The Open Championship.
Doeden purposefully wrote down the wrong score on the 18th hole.
Many media outlets covered his story, as various pundits outlined Doeden’s blunder and pointed out that he had broken golf’s golden rule.
Some PGA Tour professionals weighed in on the matter too, including Michael Kim, who discussed an incident that happened at an event a while back.
The cheating story this week made me remember the closest thing to cheating I personally dealt with at an event…
The pro I was playing with hit his shot (started at the yellow dot where the pin was and HOOKED) into the green circle if not more left. He wanted to drop at the red… pic.twitter.com/zjgb5aAy8O
— Michael S. Kim (@Mike_kim714) July 26, 2023
“The cheating story this week made me remember the closest thing to cheating I personally dealt with at an event,” Kim tweeted Wednesday.
“The pro I was playing with hit his shot (started at the yellow dot where the pin was and HOOKED) into the green circle if not more left. He wanted to drop at the red dot and I said I don’t agree at all. After 10min of talking about it I said look man, I don’t think it crossed up there but it’s your call at the end of the day and I went to play my shot.”
“He takes the drop at the red dot and gets up and down for bogey.”
“I refused to sign his scorecard, and a scoring official had to sign for his score.”
“What made it feel worse is that we tied at the end of the event.”
Kim depicted that his fellow playing competitor did not take a proper drop after hooking his tee shot into the water hazard adjacent to the green.
All golfers know—or at least they should—that whenever their ball crosses into a penalty area, they must take a drop at the point of entry.
As Kim demonstrated in his tweet, this professional failed to do so. He took advantage, fabricated the point of entry, and made it easier for himself to get up and down for bogey.
Worst of all, he tied Kim at the end of the event, which upset him.
Kim’s playing partner should have dropped at the front of the pond, not next to the green, as he did.
Yet, this episode provides two suitable lessons for amateur players everywhere: first, a player’s integrity on the course is of utmost importance; and second, if your ball crosses into a penalty area, use your best judgment and rely on your honesty to determine where the ball crossed into the hazard. Then proceed to drop at the point of entry, even if the situation proves more difficult.
Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.