Landon Michelson has been denied his dream of participating at the US Open after being forced to disqualify himself for signing an incorrect scorecard.
The 22-year old amateur, a graduate from Rice University, was given the opportunity to compete for a playoff-place after Freddie Jacobson pulled out of the qualifier.
Michelson took advantage of his chance and shot a pair of 71's giving him an impressive two-under par given the challenging weather conditions.
However, a genuine mistake from Michelson resulted in him signing for a 70 during his second round rather than a 71. This left him with the ethical decision to confess his mistake and face punishment or keep quiet and have to contend with the fact that he has cheated.
Ironically, whilst at University, Michelson completed a project regarding Blayne Barber's decision to disqualify himself from the PGA Tour Q-School back in 2012 when he was unsure if he had brushed a leaf in a bunker during his second round.
Michelson followed the actions of Barber and admitted his error meaning he was disqualified and missed out on a dream visit to Pinhurst for the US Open later this month.
Michelson admitted that whilst studying he was unsure what he would do if put in Barber's boots but knew he made the right decision concerning disqualifying himself.
"I told myself I didn't know what I would do in that situation," said Michelson.
"But I decided to just go for it. I was just hoping there was something the rules official could do.
"You can say it was the only thing to do, but I could have easily have said nothing and I'd be playing in the US Open at Pinehurst.
“If you think about it, I’m like the 1,000th-ranked amateur in the world,” Michelson told the Golf Channel. “Going to the U.S. Open, it would be so much to me. Getting clothing sponsors, club sponsors ... everything would have been so much easier.”
"That's just golf."
So come Thursday 12th June, Michelson will have to contend with sitting back and watching the likes of Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson play at Pinehurst with the rest of us knowing that he was one silly mistake away from joining them.
But hopefully Michelson won't allow this heartbreak affect him for too long and will be playing the US Open regularly in years to come.
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