Two-time U.S. Open participant Chris Crawford was disqualified from the U.S. Amateur during the second round when he realized his caddie was using the slope function on his distance-measuring device.
Crawford, 23, was making his fifth start in the U.S. Amateur. After an opening-round 73 at Riviera Country Club, he was 2 under on his round at nearby Bel-Air Country Club and in position to make the 64-man match-play portion for the first time when he realized something might be wrong.
According to an ESPN report, Crawford’s intended caddie had gotten ill which led him to hire fill-in caddies for each of the first two rounds. On the second day, he knew based on the information his caddie was providing that the slope reader – which tells how far a shot is playing based on the uphill or downhill grade, rather than the pure yardage – was activated.
“I was a little flustered and knew something was wrong,” Crawford told ESPN. “When he said it had a slope adjustment, I knew instantly that I had to disqualify myself.”
The USGA began allowing distance-measuring devices for all of its amateur events in 2014, but the slope reader must be turned off. A one-time infraction would have meant a two-shot penalty, but Crawford was ultimately disqualified under Rule 14-3 for “multiple uses of a distance-measuring device with the slope feature activated by his caddie.”
Crawford advanced through local and sectional round of U.S. Open qualifying each of the last two years, and he explained that he never considered staying quiet about the violation even though he was three shots inside what turned out to be the match-play cut line.
“I didn’t gain an advantage, but I know the rules,” Crawford said. “I know nobody else would have known, but I knew. I knew what the rules was. It’s just the way it is.”
Crawford’s is the second notable disqualification from the stroke-play portion of this year’s tournament. Former U.S. Amateur four-ball runner-up Todd Mitchell shot a 3-under 67 Monday at Riviera – a score that was bettered by only one player – but he was disqualified because he never actually signed his scorecard after the round.