No high school golfer — male or female — has ever won the Oregon state title four consecutive years. But Churchill (Eugene) senior Caroline Inglis almost accomplished the feat this week — and technically did — were it not for a scorecard violation that resulted in her disqualification from the Class 5A state tournament.
Inglis, who took the state title her first three years, finished her final round on Tuesday with a 3-under 69. However, because of a scoring error, Inglis was marked as shooting a 4-under 68. Players are tasked with keeping their partner’s score for the round, and Inglis’ partner scored her making a par on the final hole when she actually made a bogey.
When Inglis realized a mistake had been made, she had already signed and submitted her own card. By then it was too late. She submitted an incorrect scorecard and, per USGA rules, was disqualified, ending her chance at history. She would have been the winner by nine strokes.
After Inglis’ DQ, the state title went to freshman Madison Odiorne of Bend’s Summit High School, which won the team championship. A reportedly distraught Inglis left the course without talking to the media.
“It doesn’t really feel like a win, because I know Caroline really won the whole thing,” Odiorne told The Oregonian.
It’s easy to blame Inglis’ playing partner for not putting down the right score. But Inglis, who is set to play for the University of Oregon next year, was the one who signed off on the score. She should have caught the mistake, especially since the error was on her most recent hole. It’s a brutal lesson, but one she’ll keep with her for life. Or at least whenever she has to play with the USGA’s bogus rules.