KFT pro hit with late penalty that costs him PGA Tour card

KFT pro hit with late penalty that costs him PGA Tour card
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Shad Tuten figured he’d locked up his PGA Tour card for the first time.

Despite a closing bogey Sunday at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, the 31-year-old Tuten was projected to finish No. 30 in points, just inside the cutoff for players graduating to the big tour.

But the tape told a different story.

Upon arriving in the scoring area, Tuten was notified by a rules official that television cameras had shown him improperly applying the lift-clean-and-place rule in the 15th fairway. Tuten’s initially lifted his ball, cleaned it and placed it, only to have the ball roll forward. As Jim Duncan, the KFT’s vice president of competition and administration, explained, Tuten then should’ve tried to re-place the ball on the exact spot as the previous placement, and then if the ball moved again he could place it at a near-point. Tuten, however, skipped that second step.

“When he did not try and replace that ball right back on the same spot, that’s when he got two shots for playing from the wrong place,” Duncan said.

The two-shot penalty gave Tuten a bogey at the par-5 hole and a 4-over 76 for his round, dropping him to T-28 on the leaderboard and a final position of No. 32 in points after he began the week at No. 29.

Tuten has still never teed it up in a PGA Tour event.

Tuten’s misfortune allowed Rafa Campos, who missed a short putt on his final hole earlier in the day, to end up No. 30 in points.

“Horrible,” an emotional Campos, No. 23 to start the week, described afterward when asked about the nerve-racking wait.

“I’m just really happy I was able to finish in the position I’m in right now,” added Campos, who played as a rookie on the PGA Tour in 2020-21.

Paul Barjon won the event at Victoria National to jump from No. 45 to eighth in points. Mac Meissner, Wilson Furr, Josh Teater and Roger Sloan were the other players to play their way inside the top 30 this week.

Furr rallied for par from an adjacent fairway at No. 18. Teater played his last five holes in 1 under. Sloan canned a 12-footer for par on his final hole.

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