Eric Gravbrot, a homeschool student representing West Valley High School in Yakima, Washington, won the state Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s 3A boys’ golf championship in May. His honesty/sportsmanship played a key role.
On hole #8, he was at even par. It was a par 3 hole, and he missed the green with his tee shot, hitting on the left side of the green in the rough on a slope. When he came to address his ball, he placed his club down (what he normally does), and the ball oscillated ever so slightly, inching forward by an incredibly small amount, but still moving. He asked his playing partners about it, and a rules official was called over. He had to wait for at least 5 minutes before they could arrive, and yes, a penalty stroke was assessed since the ball had moved. He had to reset the ball in the original spot (no more than 1/2"), then proceed to play. He almost chipped the ball in, just missing the cup for par (it lipped out). So, it was a bogey, and he was now sitting at +1. It was disappointing, but that was the turning point!
On the next hole, he hit a great drive, then hit his 2nd shot to the right of the green, again slightly off, but this time, he chipped in his 3rd shot (about a 25' shot) to get a birdie and now be at even par as he started the back 9. He proceeded to eagle #12 (about a 20' putt), birdie #15 and 16 (a tough dog-leg, uphill par 5 where he hit a downhill putt for birdie), and shot par for #17 and 18. Heading into #17, he was tied with the 1st day leader at -7 overall. This is a par 3 where you hit your tee shot and the green is higher than where you hit, so you can't see where you land very well. Eric got a par, but the leader bogeyed. On 18, it's like a downhill, dog-leg ski hill (holes #16, 17, and 18 are probably the most difficult holes of the whole course). Eric again got his par, the leader bogeyed again.
As Eric sat down at the scoring table to attest his score with his playing partners, he asked about what the leading score was (a 138), did the math quick, and confirmed he had, in fact, won by one stroke. The rules officials commented after making the ruling about his integrity with calling the penalty shot (something he could have just "ignored" and "let go" without acknowledging the situation). After he bogeyed that hole, he shot -5 over the remaining 10 holes.
Submitted by Anonymous
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