After being accused of cheating, one professional golfer has responded: He did cheat, and he’s sorry.
The player in this case is Justin Doeden, a 28-year-old from Burnsville, Minnesota, who played his college golf at Minnesota before turning pro in 2018. Doeden currently is a member on both PGA Tour Latinoamerica, where he recently lost in a playoff at that tour’s season finale and ended up No. 16 in points, and PGA Tour Canada, where he’s played three of the five events so far this summer.
According to Monday Q Info’s Ryan French, Doeden erased his score on his 36th hole of last week’s Commissionaires Ottawa Open in Dunrobin, Ontario, and wrote down a score two strokes lower so that he could make the cut on the number. However, Doeden’s playing competitors noticed that Doeden’s score on the par-5 18th hole at Eagle Creek Golf Club was showing as a ‘5,’ a par, when Doeden had actually hit his second shot in the water and missed a 7-foot bogey putt to make ‘7.’
When asked about the discrepancy by rules official, Doeden initially told them he had parred the hole. He later called in to withdraw from the event, a decision that allowed the cut line to move down to 2 under and allow 16 players to play the weekend.
“He could have affected my career,” one player who finished 36 holes at 2 under told French.
(Click here for a more detailed account of what happened.)
Initially, Doeden did not respond to French’s request for comment. But he eventually took to Twitter to apologize for his actions.
“I am here to confess of the biggest mistake I have made in my life to date,” Doeden said. “I cheated in golf. This is not who I am. I let my sponsors down. I let my competitors down. I let my family down. I let myself down. I pray for your forgiveness. John 1:9.”
Doeden meant 1 John 1:9, which states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
It's unclear what punishment Doeden will receive from PGA Tour Canada. The tour provided this in a statement to GolfChannel.com: "A violation of the Rules of Golf is handled in accordance with the PGA Tour Canada Player Handbook and Tournament Regulations. Per Tour policy, the matter – and any related disciplinary action – will be handled internally."