Ben Crane DQ'd in weird rules incident on Tour

Of all the crazy rules stories in this season of golf, Ben Crane may have topped the list this week on the Tour.

Crane was assessed two separate four-stroke penalties in the first round of the Albertsons Boise Open on Thursday, due to carrying a pair of non-conforming clubs in his bag.

The 41-year-old realized on the 11th hole – his second hole of the day – that his driver had a training sticker on it, which allows launch monitors to collect data, and is illegal per Rule 4-1. Crane notified officials on the hole, resulting in the first four-stroke penalty.

Three holes later, Crane noticed his 6-iron had the same decal on, and was slapped with an additional four-shot penalty by the rules committee.

Then, before the start of the second round Friday at Hillcrest Country Club, Crane notified rules officials that he was actually aware of the sticker on the 6-iron at the 11th, whereas he reported it at the 14th. Since Crane hadn’t removed the 6-iron from his bag – like he did the driver at the 11th – he was disqualified from the tournament

“He came back this morning and said he knew he had the 6-iron. He’s got to make a declaration that that club is out of play,” Jim Duncan, vice president of rules and competition, told the Golf Channel. “Either to a member of the committee, which he could’ve told (rules official) Andrew Miller, or to one of his fellow playing competitors. When he didn’t make that declaration, at the point he knew he had to take that club out of play, that’s ultimately a disqualification penalty.”

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