Last week we reported on 17 year old Hyderabad girl Sneha Singh calling a two stroke penalty on herself during a world ranking event in a fine example of upholding the game’s rules and values. Now we hear of another sporting gesture which sets a great example for our youngsters exemplifying the spirit of sportsmanship.
Stewart Hagestad of California, the reigning US Mid Amateur champion ( for players over 30 years of age) conceded an 8 foot putt to his opponent as a gesture of fairness during a hard fought quarter final before he went on to win the prestigious tournament for the 2nd time.
During the quarter final, Stewart moved his marker on the 14th green so as not to interfere with his opponent’s line. However, in the heat of the moment, Hagestad forgot to move his marker back — until Sease reminded him just before he was about to putt. If Hagestad had putted from the wrong spot, he would have immediately lost the hole at a pivotal point in the match.
After remarking his ball, Hagestad missed his birdie try and then immediately conceded Sease’s eight-footer for a half, as a thank you to his opponent. Hagestad realised that his opponent could have easily won the hole by letting him putt from the wrong place and didn’t want to win the hole, in case his opponent missed the 8 foot putt.
Its stories such as this that underline the values golf teaches youngsters, to be your own referee and treat people with respect and fairness.
Photo – USGA