During last week’s Ottawa Open on the PGA Tour Canada, Justin Doeden cheated.
Doeden, after his playing partner signed the scorecard, changed his score on the last hole of his second round from a seven to a five. This put him one stroke above the 36-hole cut number and would have sent 13 other players home early.
Players noticed the discrepancy during lunch and reported it. Tournament officials discovered Doeden used an eraser to change the score, but he withdrew from the tournament during the investigation. He didn’t respond to a request for comment but did confess in a social media post Monday.
I am here to confess of the biggest mistake I have made in my life to date. 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 @acaseofthegolf1
— Justin Doeden (@jdoeden11) July 24, 2023
On Wednesday, Bernhard Langer was asked about the scandal during his pre-tournament press conference at the Senior Open being held this week at Royal Porthcawl in Bridgend, Wales.
“It’s obviously very disappointing when anybody cheats because the game of golf was built and founded on honesty and integrity and that’s what we try to teach our younger generations, and that’s what we all try to be, role models for that and uphold the rules,” he said.
“Let’s face it, golf is very unique in that way. What other sport penalizes yourself? If you’re a soccer player, and you kick the other guy, you go, I didn’t touch him, I didn’t do anything, would you ever say, I tripped this guy, you need to give a penalty. You’ll never see that, ever. Any other sport, tell me any sport, tennis, you always think it’s in.
“You never say, it’s out.
“What I’m trying to say is golf is very unique where we penalize ourselves. I’ve done it to me. I had a 3-foot putt, I lined it up, I put my putter behind it, looked at the hole, I put it back. The ball moved marginally. Nobody saw it, not even a TV camera could pick it up, but I knew the line wasn’t where I had put it. I called for a ruling, and well, the rule is, you address it, you get a one-shot penalty, and that cost me $330,000, and I called it on myself. You don’t see that in any other sport.
“But to me it’s foolish, especially changing a scorecard is ridiculous, really. I mean, how can you think you’re going to get away with changing a scorecard? You’re not just breaking a rule. You’re actually stupid.”
Langer was 2 over through the first 12 holes of his opening round at Royal Porthcawl, seven back of Miguel Ángel Jiménez who posted a first-round 5-under 66.