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Devil Ball Golf

Yani Tseng missed her Kia Classic pro-am tee time and it cost her a chance to defend her title

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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Yani Tseng — Getty Images

It hasn't been the best week for the LPGA's Yani Tseng. On Sunday, Tseng was overtaken as the No. 1 player in the world by Stacy Lewis and the former world beater hasn't won an event on tour since last year's Kia Classic.

That trend will continue after Tseng missed her pro-am tee time on Wednesday at the Kia and per rules of the LPGA, had to then withdraw from the event.

Tseng was sincere and apologetic as she always is, taking to Twitter to let her fans and sponsors know what exactly happened to miss her tee time. She also released the following statement:

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"I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't feeling well (Tuesday) night and accidentally overslept and missed my tee time for the pro-am (Wednesday) morning. I was extremely excited to compete this week to defend my title at the Kia Classic and to try to regain the No. 1 spot. This was an unfortunate mistake and I want to apologize to Kia, my sponsors and all of the fans. The Kia Classic is one of my favorite tournaments and I have so many great memories in San Diego. I can't wait to come back here next year."

I'm torn here on if I think the punishment fits the crime. Golf is a game of integrity, and that doesn't just extend to the four hours one is on the course. If someone oversleeps, or doesn't feel well, and misses a pro-am for a legitimate reason, I don't think kicking them out of that week's event, especially with the skinny LPGA schedule, seems appropriate.

That said, I get how important pro-ams are for the LPGA. I've caddied for multiple friends on the LPGA over the years and have seen the interaction between players and amateurs during these pro-ams. The people love being on a course with a professional golfer and it's an easy way to earn fans for life for both the player and the tour. If skipping pro-ams became a regular thing, it would really hurt the tour.

As the PGA Tour did with Jim Furyk in 2010, I think adjusting the rule to a case-by-case basis would make more sense and help both the pro-ams, the actual tournaments and the tour in general.

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