The first round of The Players Championships came equipped with a strange twist.
D.A. Points, experiencing back problems, withdrew from his 5:39 a.m. (PT) starting time at the latest possible moment on Thursday, after the first player in the group had played and Points’ name had been called on the tee.
With the unique timing of the situation, the Rules Committee became aware of the complete facts of the situation 6-7 minutes after the group had teed off and the following group was already preparing to play on the tee.
After reviewing the facts of the case and the PGA T0ur’s standard protocols for withdrawals and substitutions, the Rules Committee assigned first alternate Brian Harman a 9:20 a.m. (PT) starting time to replace Points (pictured). Harman played the round as a onesome, but will take Points’ place on Friday.
Although the Rules Committee was not aware of this specific situation occurring previously on Tour, the decision to assign Harman a new starting time is consistent with the PGA Tour’s standard procedures for substitutions and withdrawls.
Alternates are asked to be on-site, inform the Committee of where they will be, and keep their mobile phone on so they can be contacted. Once a withdrawal occurs, the Rules Committee assesses the timing of the situation and determines whether it is reasonable for the player to make it to the tee for the original time, or if a new starting time should be assigned.