Pro Golfer's Honesty: A Shining Example

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A professional golfer recently made headlines for his honesty, because telling the truth cost him a chance at a Professional Golfers Association card.

J.P. Hayes accidentally used an unapproved golf ball for just two strokes in a PGA Tour Qualifying tournament last week.

During last Wednesday's qualifying, the Wisconsin native's caddie got a ball out of his bag and threw it to him. After hitting two shots with the ball, Hayes realized it wasn't the same ball that he started the round with and took a two-stroke penalty.

Later after he had finished his round, Hayes thought more about the incident and it became clear that the ball he was playing with was illegal.

He reported the incident to PGA officials and he was disqualified.

So because Hayes decided to be honest, he will not be able to participate in next year's PGA Tour, losing out on the chance to earn a substantial income.

But the golfer says it was important to tell the truth.

"We don't have referees on the golf course," Hayes said. "So it's up to us to call penalties on ourselves. I think our sponsors appreciate it. I think our fans appreciate it. And I think it helps to grow golf as a whole," he explained.

Sure, honesty has always been the best policy among those who play the game of golf. But Hayes' confession comes as a welcome change for many in the world of sports.

Mike Lopresti of the Gannett News Service writes in USA Today that he thinks Hayes should be nominated for sportsman of the year.

"He has won more than $7 million on the PGA Tour, but his actions will not cost him is mortgage. But money never seemed to enter into his thinking," Lopresti wrote. "Right and wrong did."

Sources: CBN News, Chicago Tribune, USA Today

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