ROCKVILLE, Md. – Two-time champion Lee Janzen has been knocked out of U.S. Open qualifying for wearing metal spikes at a golf course that doesn't allow them.
Janzen was at Woodmont Country Club for a 36-hole qualifier and opened with a 75 on the North Course when it was discovered he was wearing metal spikes.
All players were informed in a May 20 letter from the Michael Cumberpatch of the Mid-Atlantic Golf Association, the official in charge of the Woodmont qualifier. The second item – right before the item that says shorts are allowed – said steel spikes were not allowed for the qualifying rounds or even the practice rounds.
Cumberpatch later said in an interview with Golf Channel that all but two sectional qualifying sites ban metal spikes for the qualifier. The exceptions were in Columbus, Ohio, and Memphis, Tennessee, where the majority of PGA Tour players were competing. Metal spikes are allowed on the PGA Tour and the major championships, even at the U.S. Open.
Janzen said on Twitter he received the spikes rule in an email. "More concerned about my game. 71 1st round put me way back anyway," he tweeted.
Only eight players from the Woodmont qualifier advance to the U.S. Open next week at Merion in suburban Philadelphia. Janzen won the 1993 U.S. Open at Baltusrol and the 1998 U.S. Open at Olympic Club.
Asked if there might have been confusion about the spikes because Janzen played a Web.com Tour event in the Washington area, Cumberpatch told Golf Channel, "The only confusion would be you didn't read the documentation you're required to read."
"You're responsible for knowing the conditions under which you're playing," Cumberpatch said.
Janzen was disqualified for the metal spikes nearly eight years after a short-lived debate about spikes on the PGA Tour. A petition in August 2005 sought support from the Player Advisory Council to get rid of the metal spikes. Janzen was quoted in a story in USA Today as saying, "It's got no chance. You can't ban metal spikes."