B Champions Tour events and caddies for Zach
Johnson, was third at 5-10.
Despite brisk early winds Sunday David
Toms, last year’s runner-up, and Bob Estes
both posted early 65s, 7-under par. Toms bogeyed
the second and fourth and then exploded with an
eagle and three straight birdies on the last four
holes of the front. “I was so far back I was just
trying to have a decent finish,” said Toms, who
moved all the way up into the top 10. “So, A
To Play, Or Not To Play
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA | One more
bizarre occurrence in a week full of them was
the saga of Brian Harman, who arrived at the
golf course Thursday as the first alternate.
Harman was playing Ping Pong with his caddie
in a room underneath the clubhouse Thursday
morning when D. A. Points abruptly withdrew
on the first tee before hitting a shot. The other
two members of Points’ group had already hit
their drives, so there wasn’t enough time for
Harman to hustle over to the tee before the
next group arrived.
with the decision but there was doubt in some
quarters whether the Tour had followed the
letter of the law.
“It got botched by everybody,” said Robert
Mark Russell, the Tour’s VP of Rules and
Competition, defended the decision. “In my 31
years on the PGA Tour I can never remember
a player withdrawing right before he was supposed to play,” he said “We decided that Brian
had done everything we had asked him to do.”
Part of the problem was the fact that players
were starting off both tees Thursday. Harman
could not have known which tee (No. 1 or No. 10)
to be nearer in case of a last-second WD. The
caddie area where he was hanging out is approximately halfway between the two tee boxes.
To his credit, Harman rallied from an opening 73 with a Friday 68 and made the cut with
three strokes to spare.
A “Free Brian Harman” hashtag sprung up on
Twitter. “I thought it was hilarious,” said Harman.
His Friday highlight was a holed 43-yard
wedge shot for birdie on the difficult par- 3
eighth hole. But he faded to a 76 Saturday and
73 Sunday as the Cinderella plot line slowly
disintegrated. l B.H.
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