Putter grips lead to wild disqualification during U.S. Amateur Four-Ball quarterfinals

The Rules of Golf strike again.

A pair of Cincinnati men’s golf teammates were disqualified during the quarterfinals of the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship on Wednesday for an obscure equipment violation: non-conforming putter grips.

“Prior to this morning’s resumption of the quarterfinal match between Evan Beck/Dan Walters and Ty Gingerich/Cole Harris, it was brought to our attention that Gingerich had used a non-conforming putter grip in violation of Part 2, 3c of the Equipment Rules,” read a USGA statement. “The violation resulted in a disqualification.”

Play had been suspended due to darkness on Tuesday night, pushing the completion of the quarterfinals to Wednesday morning. Gingerich and Harris, sophomores at Cincinnati, trailed Beck and Walters by one hole at the Country Club of Birmingham with just two holes remaining. Another shot wasn’t hit, as Gingerich was informed of the violation before play resumed Wednesday morning.

Rules state that grips must be at least 1½ inches apart. The two grips on Gingerich’s 39.5-inch putter were less than an inch apart.

The team of Beck and Walters advanced to the semifinals, where they would lose to Drew Kittleson and Drew Stoltz, 2 and 1. The Drews then lost to Chad Wilfong and Davis Womble in the final in 19 holes.