Justin Doeden: "I pray for your forgiveness"

"I'm here to confess to the biggest mistake he's ever made in my life"

by Andrea Gussoni
Justin Doeden: "I pray for your forgiveness"

From 20 to 23 July, on the Eagle Creek Golf Club course, the Commissionaires Ottawa Open was held, a tournament valid for the Fortinet Cup, the ranking of the PGA Tour Canada, satellite circuit of the PGA Tour.

Justin Doeden, statements

For the record, Canadian Stuart Macdonald won after the fourth hole of the playoffs.

But the news that he held the court (and still holds it) is that of a bad episode that happened during the second day of competition. The protagonist is Justin Doeden, a 28-year-old professional from Brunsville, Minnesota.

The stage is the 18th hole, a 573-yard par 5 from the back tees, which the pros played from a 20-yard back tee. At the end of his second lap, Doeden made his second shot, which ended up in the water. He then proceeded to drop, and his fourth shot landed in the greenside bunker.

He missed the up & down, closing the hole with a double bogey. However, when the scores were published, par was indicated on the 18th hole of the US player, and a total score over the 36 holes of -3, one stroke under the cut, set at -2.

Two players who were having lunch noticed this, and since one of the two had played with Doeden, they immediately alerted the Competition Committee, assuming that there was a problem in live scoring, a fairly frequent problem in satellite Tours.

The referees then retrieved the paper score to verify it. And here's the big trouble. The correction made to the score of the 18th hole immediately became evident, given that the 7 correctly reported by the marker had been canceled and replaced with a 5.

Immediately after checking and signing the score, Doeden asked for a further check, his scorer gave him the score and left the recording area. Summoned by the Committee, the American player confirmed that he had closed the hole in par, a statement denied both by his fellow players and by the walking scorer.

While the investigations were ongoing, Doeden withdrew, without making any statements. His retirement radically changed the Ottawa Open ranking, given that his -3 would have relegated 13 players out of the cut (in the Fortinet Cup tournaments, the first 60 plus dead heat pass, NDR).

One of them stated: "He would have hurt my career." On Monday, Justin Doeden tweeted his confession: "I'm here to confess to the biggest mistake he's ever made in my life" “I cheated playing golf. But that's not me" “I let my sponsors down. I let my opponents down. I let my family down. I let myself down" "I beg your forgiveness."