You wouldn't think math would be an essential component of golf, but turns out it is. Woody Austin learned that the hard way on Friday morning, when he suffered a four-stroke penalty for having more than 14 clubs in his bag.
Austin discovered the extra club on the third hole. Per USGA rules, an extra club carries a two-stroke penalty per hole, hence the brutal four-stroke penalty. The penalty dropped him to what was at the time one stroke below the cut line. Many players are wavering between a driver and an extra wedge this week, and it's possible that Austin, or his caddie, may have failed to make a choice in time.
The penalty was reminiscent of Ian Woosnam's error on the final day of the 2001 British Open. His two-stroke penalty or may not have cost him a shot at the Claret Jug; he finished tied for third, four strokes behind eventual winner David Duval.
In that event, the fault lay with the caddie, who'd forgotten to take out the club from the previous day's play, and Woosnam flung the extra stick into the bushes. No word yet on who's to blame for Austin's woes, but it could be an awkward ride away from Oak Hill.