Cole Gritton and Thomas Henson thought they were going to be playing with a professional golfer as they waited at the 10th tee of the U.S. Open qualifying event at the Oakwood Country Club in Kansas City.
But with just minutes before their tee time, a man came ambling up with his caddy, who was carrying a large bag filled with Kirkland golf clubs bought from Costco, according to Golf.com. The man was John Eckert, and he was no professional. He was just a guy who had a bad fantasy football season from Kyler Murray and Derrick Henry.
Some fantasy football leagues will go to great lengths to punish the losers of their league. One league took its punishment to a major golf qualifying event. Eckert’s punishment, per a report from Monday Q Info, was to tee it up at a U.S. Open qualifying event.
“Comes over to hole 10, hits tee shot 10 feet. 5 over after 2, his caddy looks at us and goes we are so sorry. He lost a fantasy football bet and his punishment was to play,” the message from one of Eckert’s partners read. “Absolutely joke to me and my playing partner. Terrible punishment, not fun to play with, but one hell of a story to tell now.”
A guy lost his fantasy football league and had to ply US Open locals…and it didn’t go well. pic.twitter.com/A4VjaqPfr0
— Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1) May 10, 2022
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Eckert began his day cold, finishing his first 13 holes 35 over par. However, over his last five holes, we made three shots for par, hit one bogey and one quadruple bogey.
Henson told Golf.com that Eckert likely lost between 15 and 20 balls, though Eckert said the number was probably around seven or eight.
On the par-72 course, he finished 18 holes in 112 shots and finished with par on four holes. Among the golfers who did not withdraw, he was last at 40 over par, four shots below the next-worst golfer and 21 shots behind the third-worst golfer.
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Golf.com reported that the qualifying event has a handicap index of no more than 1.4 for amateurs to enter. However, Eckert told the magazine that he just registered as a professional.
Todd Stice, Central Links Golf director of rules and competitions, told Golf.com that all he would have to do is say he is a professional, pay the fee and play. Stice said Eckert is now a professional and no longer an amateur golfer.
Golf.com said that when Eckert showed up, he went to the first tee, and nearly took a two-stroke penalty by arriving late. Eckert said he wasn’t on the wrong tee, but was instead warming up.
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Stice said that in spite of the issues on the course, the group stayed on pace, though Gritton said they walked fast and helped Eckert look for balls, though that stopped once the caddy told Gritton and Henson that Eckert was just someone that lost in fantasy football.
“I’ve been in a few fantasy football leagues myself and had some weird stuff but nothing like this,” Stice told Golf.com. “This was unique and very imaginative and I got a very big kick out of it.”