By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
CANONSBURG, Pa. – For the second time in a year, Blayne Barber cost himself a potentially valuable outcome with a high-profile DQ.
Barber disqualified himself from the Web.com Tour’s Mylan Classic when he realized the 6-under-par 65 he signed for should have been a 66. The 23-year-old pro went from a share of second place to an early exit.
Barber signed for a birdie at the par-4 16th hole, when his actual score was a par.
The incident came nine months after Barber took himself out of the second stage of last year’s PGA TOUR qualifying, upon learning he’d applied the wrong penalty to one of his first-stage rounds.
“I know it sounds careless,” Barber said before departing Southpointe Golf Club. “To be honest, I don’t know what emotions I’m going through right now.”
Whee Kim held the lead after a 65, reaching the midway point at 11-under 131. A correct scorecard would have left Barber two shots back, tied with Ben Martin.
As it turned out, Barber realized the error as he was discussing the aftermath of last year’s DQ with reporters. He returned to the scoring area after finishing, asked for his card and saw the discrepancy.
Once a player leaves the scoring area, his card is deemed official.
“I looked [the card] over and didn’t see it,” Barber said, noting that he’d confirmed the proper total with his walking scorer but didn’t compare the hole-by-hole scores. “Somehow I missed that one on 16.”
Barber’s departure from Q-School stemmed from a bunker infraction, when he thought his club brushed a leaf during his backswing. His caddie said he never saw the leaf move, but Barber still applied a penalty stroke to his score.
It wasn’t until after the tournament that Barber learned the correct penalty for the infraction is two strokes. After wrestling with the dilemma for nearly a week, Barber called PGA TOUR officials to report the error – relinquishing his chance at a PGA TOUR or Web.com Tour card in 2013.
Instead, Barber has pieced together a year of intermittent starts on those circuits and the minitours. He tied for sixth at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open, but has missed the cut in three other Web.com Tour starts.
He also earned two paychecks on the PGA TOUR, tying for 42nd at the Northern Trust Open and 24th at the Puerto Rico Open.
With a top-5 finish this week, Barber might have put himself in position to crack the top 75 in Web.com Tour earnings and a berth in the four-event Finals series that begins later this month.
“It’s unfortunate,” Barber said, “because it could have been corrected.”