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Luke Donald embroiled in brief Masters scorecard controversy

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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Luke Donald counts his putts. (Getty Images)

When is a 5 not a 5? When it's a 3, of course.

Luke Donald walked off the green at 18 and right into a Masters rules mess. At issue: whether he shot 75 or 73. More specifically, whether he carded a 5 or a 3 at the par-3 fifth hole. The scorecard read 3, but several golf writers recalled it as a three-putt 5.

The issue was not an insignificant one: If Donald signed for a 73 rather than a 75, he'd be disqualified from a tournament in which he was one of the favorites. (Even with a 75, he's in trouble; at the time he finished, he was six strokes behind the leaders.)

Fortunately for Donald, as it turns out, there was no controversy, and no disqualification. Somewhere along the line while faxing the scorecard, a scorekeeper misread Donald's 5 as a 3, and posted it as such, a misfire the club termed an "administrative error." (Yes, Augusta still uses faxes. In 2012. Possibly because monks transcribing scores can't run in fast enough from Amen Corner.)

[ Also: Henrik Stenson's quadruple-bogey obliterates a fine Round 1 at Masters ]

So Donald lives to play again another day. And the lowly fax machine suffers yet another ding to its battered reputation.

-For the best in golf updates live from Augusta, follow Devil Ball Golf on Twitter at @jaybusbee and @jonathanrwall, and on Facebook right here.-

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