Doing the right thing costs Marshall golfer

Kaylee Gossen, a junior from Marshall, Minn., could’ve just kept quiet and she’d be on her way to the state high school golf tournament.

But that’s not the way it works for high school golfers.

The Star Tribune reports that Gossen’s 82 last week at the Class 2A, Section 3 tournament in Buffalo Lake made her a lock as an individual entrant in the tournament and also might’ve sent her whole team there.

Then she started thinking about the double-bogey on the 16th hole, which she and her playing partners from other high schools agreed at the time was correct.

After the round, she compared what her scorecard showed with what her parents had recorded. 83.

The only hole on which they disagreed? Number 16, the Strib says.

When Kaylee thought back and went over the hole shot by shot, she realized, as she grew mad at herself, that they were right.

“I wasn’t feeling good about it,’’ Gossen said.

She talked to Flynn, and together they consulted with tournament officials. A call was made to the Minnesota State High School League.

“They came back and said make sure it’s right,’’ Gossen said. “I told them I’m sure it’s supposed to be a seven.’’

With that, she was disqualified. Her team, within a few strokes of a team qualifying spot, fell further back without Gossen’s score.

“I realized I needed to do the right thing, losing my shot at going to state,’’ Gossen said. “I knew walking in there — I started tearing up. I knew I was going to be disqualified, but it was the right thing to do.’’

“Integrity goes a lot (further) than state,’’ she said. “State is a great experience, but I’d rather be known for something much more.’’

Kids, today, eh?

(h/t: Paul Tosto)

  • dukepowell

    Yep, God bless Kaylee, it was the right thing to do.

    Shows character. She was brought up right.

    Unlike some people.

  • Thomas Mercier

    Too bad that recognizing an innocent mistake and working to make amends can’t be honored by respecting the corrected score versus nullifying the total score. Can someone enlighten me why this is the way it is?

    • Golf’s gotta golf.

    • dukepowell

      Golf has rules. They are there to protect the rest of the field.

      Because Kaylee “fessed up,” someone else, some other team gets to experience the State Championship.

      That’s because Kaylee followed the rules. Good for her.

  • MrE85

    Just once, I would like to see a NewsCut post on a golfer who cheats and gets away with it. 😉

    • MikeB
      • MrE85

        Where can I get one of those? I’m kidding, of course. Mrs. Lungs and I follow strict rules of golf when we play. Our scorecards offer proof.

        • MikeB

          As a scratch golfer, I am firm in the belief that the best attribute is is avoiding slow play at all costs.

          • Jerry

            The best way to score golf is to compare the ratio of balls lost to balls found. You probably don’t want to golf behind me. On the plus side I only carry a 4 clubs and don’t spend much time lining up shots.

          • I’m ready to take up golf again. I’ve almost forgotten about the time I lost a ball while putting.

  • Rob

    The headline’s a little misleading, as you can’t lose what wasn’t rightfully yours to begin with, whether the score total was intentional or merely by mistake. In this case she caught her mistake and made good on it, as any player with integrity would.

    • Not misleading. You can lose what rightfully isn’t yours.

      • Rob

        Physically, yes. Metaphysically, not so much.

        • X.A. Smith

          I don’t know. The headline, “Doing the right thing costs Marshall golfer something she has, but not really” just doesn’t grab me as much.

          • “The headline is misleading” is the new “I didn’t feel like reading the post”.


    • wjc

      But really, isn’t the DQ a bit over the top as a punishment? If her corrected score would have still qualified her for the state tournament, why is the punishment so out of line with the crime?

      • Roberto De Vicenzo had the Masters won in 1968. But he signed an incorrect scorecard because he had one less stroke on a hole than what he had indicated. So while he thought he had the Masters won, he didn’t.

        The rules of golf though say if a player signs a card in which the error results in having FEWER strokes than what he/she/it really had, it’s a disqualification.

        • wjc

          I understand that, but should those really be the rules, particularly for high school golf? The rules can be changed to make them more reasonable.

          • X.A. Smith

            The rules of games are not supposed to be reasonable, they’re just rules.

          • wjc

            Thanks. That clears it right up. 🙂

            But really, golf seems to be weirdly rule-centric. When you have people calling in to report a rules violation after watching some TV coverage and that dictates the outcome of a tournament, it is bizarre.

            In this case, she reported her error which would seem to be sufficient to me. A DQ seems draconian.

          • Jack Ungerleider

            I don’t know if its that golf is weirdly rule-centric or that golf is the one game where there is no referee or umpire keeping watch on the process. As a result anyone who plays the game knows the rules whether they compete in tournaments or not.

          • wjc

            But doesn’t your playing partner sign your scorecard to acknowledge its accuracy in a tournament? If you both mess up and the scorecard is accepted, shouldn’t that be the end of it?

            If the 2nd place finisher in a major pro tournament scoured the TV footage to find a rule violation by the winner, and had someone notify tournament officials of the violation, would that be OK? It all seems pretty weird.

            I understand that people know the rules. I’m questioning whether the current rules really make sense.

          • X.A. Smith

            I think there is a tremendous adherence to tradition in golf, which makes sense when you consider the people who run it. Old money.

  • Zachary

    As much as I want to snark on ‘A wonderful life lesson spoiled by Golf’. I won’t. This is an amazing life lesson. Much props to this young lady, her parents, and her team.

    I do think it’s weird that golf has its rules like this. A lesson for all us non-golfers is “Don’t sign anything until you have doubled checked the math”?