August 27, 2014

“You might as well praise a man for not robbing a bank as to praise him for playing by the rules.”
– Bobby Jones

Candor in golf made headlines again recently. Last week, Cameron Tringale earned the moniker “World’s most honest golfer.” Tringale’s remarkable actions five days after the PGA Championship warranted the praise. He called in to report an error that no one – fans, officials, caddies, other golfers – noticed. Even Tringale himself wasn’t sure if it happened. But he felt compelled to share his uncertainty with the officials just in case, which he knew would cost him a stroke, followed by a disqualification. The DQ resulted in the forfeit of $53,000 and 37 FedEx Cup points.

Realizing that there could be the slightest doubt that the swing over the ball should have been recorded as a stroke, I spoke with the PGA of America and shared with them my conclusion that the stroke should have been recorded. ~ Cameron Tringale

Whether you call it integrity or respect or candor, there is just something honest about the game of golf. It is the only professional sport that expects its players to keep their own scores and wholly trusts them to do so accurately and honestly. And golf has a set of rules – both official and assumed – to which its players and fans are steadfastly dedicated.

We are very appreciative of Cameron coming forward… It yet again shows the great values and traditions of the game and the honesty and integrity of its competitors. ~ PGA officer Kerry Haigh

I don’t know Tringale personally, but I follow a bit of golf. He probably could have gotten away with it, but he didn’t want to. It is remarkable that a pro athlete in a widely popular sport would be so forthright about a possible mistake that would cost him in this way.  That exemplifies candor, both in the sport of golf and immeasurably in Tringale himself.

If Tringale hadn’t said a word, odds are no one would have thought about his bogey on the 65th hole of the tournament ever again. ~ Chris Chase, USA Today

Tringale follows in Tiger Woods shoes (who also called a penalty on himself a while back for a bad ball drop.) Their candor – their ability to be open, honest and direct – with so much at stake is admirable. My gut tells me Tringale will fare quite well despite the DQ and forfeiture. It’s likely that fans, other golfers and sponsors will value his candor and support him all the more.