No one noticed the goof until Lewis was counting up her players’ birdies after the round.
“I noticed Kaitlyn was not credited for one of her birdies,” Lewis said. “I checked the scorecard and saw the mistake, then called the rules official to point it out. It’s pretty black and white in the Rules of Golf, but I can promise none of those girls will ever have a scoring mistake again.”
A meeting between the captain and tournament officials ensued and Lewis’ first question was if Rule 23.2b had been modified in the recent rules changes.
“I know some of the rules have been changed from a DQ to a two-shot penalty,” Lewis said. “I am kind of surprised this wasn’t one of the rules changes.”
After getting the final ruling, Lewis had to break the news to her two female players — Lewis is also captaining a two-player U.S. men’s team — that they had been eliminated from the bi-annual tournament that pits teams from 20 countries.
“That’s easily the worst thing I’ve had to do this week,” she said.
Thursday marked the third time a team has been DQ’ed from the Spirit, but the first time for a U.S. side.
The U.S. men’s team of U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree and World No. 2 amateur Cole Hammer can still compete for the men’s title but not for the combined team championship.
With some encouragement from Lewis, Papp and Migliaccio plan to continue in the three-day event as non-competing players.
“I never had a scoring issue when I was playing,” said Lewis, who has won 12 times on the LPGA tour. “One time my caddy was accused of testing the sand, but that was only a two-shot penalty and I went on to win the tournament the next day. This is just very harsh, but that’s golf.”
For scoring from the Spirit, click here.