(Reuters) - Jason Millard has been disqualified from next week’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina after informing organizers that he should have incurred a penalty stroke during sectional qualifying for the year’s second major.
American Millard, who initially booked his place at Pinehurst after carding a pair of 68s in Memphis, Tennessee five days ago, will be replaced in the field by amateur Sam Love.
“We commend Jason for bringing this matter to our attention,” Daniel Burton, chairman of the United States Golf Association’s championship committee, said in a statement on Saturday.
”At this time, we have no recourse but to disqualify him under the Rules of Golf and specifically Rule 34-1b.”
Millard, a two-time All-American at Middle Tennessee State University, ran foul of the rules while playing his third shot out of a bunker on the 18th hole of Colonial Country Club’s North Course.
”I didn’t see anything for sure but I felt something and I saw a small indentation,“ Millard said. ”It happened so fast, I really don’t know 100 percent but deep down, I believe I did. I couldn’t find peace about it.
“For five days, I practiced and I couldn’t get it off my mind. It’s heart-breaking but what I was feeling in my heart didn’t feel right. It’s the right decision and I am sticking with it.”
The U.S. Open will be played from June 12-15 at Pinehurst’s fabled No. 2 Course where England’s Justin Rose will defend the title he won by two shots at Merion last year.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry