Professional Golfer Doris Chen has been disqualified from the LPGA-Qs after her mother cheated for her. The former 2014 NCAA golf champion was playing an eight round tournament in North Carolina to qualify for the 2019 LPGAs. On the 17th hole in round 7, she hit her ball out of bound. Her mother, Yuh Guey Lin kicked the ball back in bounds and Chen failed to penalize herself resulting in a Rule 15 – 3b violation, reports GOLF.com.
“Ms. Chen and her caddie were made aware that the ball had been moved. Doris elected to play the ball, which was a wrong ball by definition, from its altered lie. Ms. Chen did not correct her error before teeing off on the next hole, thus resulting in the DQ penalty,” the LPGA said in a statement.
Doris Chen told Randall Mell of Golfchannel.com that she and her caddie were looking for her ball when a spectator spotted it. Before she could play it, a homeowner came out and told her that somebody kicked the ball. At that time Chen claims that she didn’t know if the ball was out of bounds or not. So she decided to play on resulting in a disqualification. “A homeowner came to me and said she saw somebody kick the ball from a good lie to a bad lie. She did not mention that the ball was out of bounds,” Chen said. Additionally, she said that she didn’t know if her mom kicked the ball. She posted a long post on Twitter saying it was a big misunderstanding.
However, her caddie, Alex Valer, tells another story. Alex Valor claims that the homeowner pointed out the spectator and it was Chen’s mother. The homeowner told them Chen’s mother kicked the ball inbound. He told Randall Mell of Golfchannel.com that Chen told him to be quiet and ignore it. “It’s a mess. Doris did the wrong thing. I’m just trying to do the right thing, to be fair to all those players at Q-Series who have worked so hard for a whole year,” he said.
Doris Chen refuted the caddie’s claim on her Twitter. “God knows what happened and he oversaw everything. My caddie did not tell me to call r.o.(rules official) I had a conversation about this with him afterwards. I understand as a caddie wants to protect himself. I don’t want to make any more comments as I’ve said all I need. That’s it.”
As for Chen’s mother kicking the ball, Chen said, “She told me that she didn’t and she doesn’t know. And if she did, it may be by accident and she wasn’t aware…I was not trying to cheat and I am not a cheater.”
Nevertheless, the 25-year-old golfer has accepted the LPGA’s ruling. The LPGA told GolfChannel.com that, “We have thoroughly reviewed the facts in this case (both prior to the ruling and afterwards) and there is no ambiguity in the facts or the ruling. The player has accepted the penalty and any further dialogue on this matter will be between LPGA and the player.”