‘The pollen wins again’: Allergies force Tour pro to withdraw from Wells Fargo

May 4, 2018

The PGA Tour reported that Bob Estes withdrew from the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship citing allergies as the cause.

“The pollen wins again,” Estes wrote on Twitter.

Estes is far from the only pro golfer to withdraw from a tournament for a head-scratching (or eye-watering) reason. Bubba Watson complained of similar distractions in 2014 as he withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, saying that pollen and the medication he took to lessen its effects made it “hard to focus.” 

John Daly is the patron saint of the dramatic or unusual withdrawals (he once walked off the course after hitting seven balls into a pond, later tweeting “when u run out of balls, u run out of balls”). But there’s also Rory McIlroy’s “wisdom teeth pain” excuse from the 2013 Honda Classic (he later said leaving was “not the right thing to do”), Jim Furyk’s WD due to an injured shoulder, which he sustained while brushing his teeth in 2006, and Lydia Ko’s eye infection, exacerbated by allergies.  

On the other hand, Michelle Wie deserves credit for continuing to play despite being stung by a bee during the 2016 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, even though she is allergic. And Tony Finau’s insistence on playing in this year’s Masters on a bruised and swollen ankle impressed new fans and old fans alike.

As for Estes, if his allergies are as bad as he says they are, he’s smart to WD now. The pollen forecast for Charlotte predicts high levels of allergens in the air on Saturday and Sunday.