‘Hard to swallow’: Pro booted from Korn Ferry event due to rules confusion

Korn Ferry Tour

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Zach Williams, over eight years, has tweeted 470 times. 

His 467th, though, may have been one of his best. 

To begin, Williams is a recently turned pro. He’s a player, too. The Mt. Vernon, Illinois, native recently finished a run at the University of Southern Indiana, where he holds four school records. This week, the 23-year-old Monday-qualified into the Korn Ferry Tour’s Memorial Health Championship, in Springfield, Illinois, about two hours north of his hometown. It was his first event on the circuit just below the big boys, and he was even-par through two holes on Thursday during the first round. 

Only then he was disqualified.   

Williams was using a rangefinder, and that’s a no-no on the KFT. It’s a violation of Model Local Rule G-5, and one use is a two-stroke penalty, and two is a DQ, according to Rule 4.3. A day later, tireless Ryan French of the popular Monday Q Info website tweeted out the news:

“Just Brutal: Zach Williams played golf at Southern Indiana University. Monday Qualified for his first KFT event this week in his home state. Was even thru 2 holes when he was DQ’d. He had been using a rangefinder. They are not allowed on the KFT.”

Notably, the use of rangefinders depends on the event — it’s a model local rule — and among those that allow them are Korn Ferry Monday qualifiers. It’s unfortunate. It happens occasionally. The story could end here.

Then Williams responded to French’s tweet

“Sadly, this is me,” he wrote. “For some reason I thought they had changed the rule already on the KFT. Plus they allow in literally all other pro events besides KFT and PGA. Bottomline, I should have known, and its completely on me. Hard to swallow but you have to. I’ll be back in no time”

Williams’ 468th tweet then was a retweet of French’s response.

“Congrats on the Monday man, and well done on owning the mistake. Ignore the people on the comments who evidently haven’t made a mistake in their lives. All the best in your career, when you’re on Tour you will look back at this and laugh.”

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.