The Big Deal – that shouldn’t have been

The Big Deal – That Shouldn’t Have Been

The “big deal” in this case has nothing to do with Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, health care, or government bailouts. It did involve money, though, and that is part of the reason it made headlines. A couple of weeks ago, Brian Davis told the truth, acted with integrity, and forfeited $411,000 in the process.

You likely know the story. It happened during the Verizon Heritage golf tournament.  Brian Davis and Jim Furyk were on the first hole of a playoff, after finishing the day with identical scores. Davis had holed a clutch 18-foot putt for birdie on the final hole to force the playoff. But he ran into trouble quickly.

Davis was in a hazard that had clusters of reeds all around. He took his time and pondered his options. Playing a 14-time PGA Tour winner such as Furyk, Davis – who has yet to win a PGA event – needed to make a spectacular shot.  He and his caddie looked it over carefully. He struck the ball. Then he immediately called a PGA official named Slugger White to come over. He told him that he might have grazed one of the reeds on his backswing.

Nobody had called it. The officials standing nearby had not seen anything amiss.  Jim Furyk had not protested. But Davis, although he hadn’t felt it through the shaft of his club, believed he had seen it out of the corner of his eye.

White went to the TV monitor. The touch between club and reed was so slight that it took slow-motion replay to spot it. But there it was! And PGA Rule 13.4 – which prohibits moving any “impediment” with the start of a player’s backswing – says that a player is to be assessed a two-stroke penalty for such an infraction.  And that was the end of Davis’ chance to win his first PGA event.

The honesty of Brian Davis became a “big deal” immediately. In some ways, it overshadowed the tournament outcome. E-mails and phone calls flooded in to Davis. Members of the PGA’s senior tour phoned to thank him for restoring some sense of integrity to their sport. Teachers had students write essays. “He’s class,” said Slugger White of the man he had to penalize, “first class!”

As Davis himself admitted in the aftermath of his action, though, it should not have been a big deal at all. That’s what Rule 13.4 says, and golf is played by rules.  Shortcuts, cheating, taking advantage of one’s opponent, winning by doing whatever you must – they are all part of the lore of life these days. But they have no place in a person of character. Davis wants to win, but fair and square.

That there was such a fuss over a golfer doing what he was supposed to do may be a commentary on the low expectations we have of one another.

Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1 NLT).

–Rubel Shelly

Rubel Shelly is a Preacher and Professor of Religion and Philosophy located in
Rochester Hills, Michigan.


About Dr Bill Toth

Bill’s Background I’m just an average guy who’s learned a few things about Life, Success and Personal Development – thanks to some incredibly good and bad experiences during the past 25+ years. I’ve made many mistakes and have learned to combine down to earth values with a unique ability to distill complex concepts into simple powerful strategies which can be immediately applied to produce measurable results. In short; “I’ve traveled the territory, drawn a few maps and I’m happy to share them” I do not consider myself to be an “expert” and my work is never presented as the definitive doctrine on how you should live your life or what it takes to be successful in your business. I am a work in progress and if you were to you join me on life’s journey by hiring me as your coach or partnering with us in business – our learning will very likely be a two way street. In fact, I expect it to be. “What you know dies with you – what you DO leaves a legacy” I was raised in upstate New York and eastern Pennsylvania. This rural upbringing is strongly reflected in my personal value hierarchy: Faith > Family > Friends > Fitness and Finance. Education and a commitment to continuous improvement are next on the list. All these and more are strongly reflected in my coaching, teaching, writing and speaking. While growing my private practice I also taught Orthopedics and Neurology at both the undergraduate and graduate level, produced a TV show on fitness, appeared on numerous radio and TV programs, authored numerous journal articles, chapters for medical texts, served as vice-president of my state medical association, and started a family. I have had the honor and privilege of consulting with and coaching a diverse population of people from royalty to prisoners, from children to CEO’s, from amateur to professional athletes from 41 countries and people of almost every race, creed, religious belief and nationality. I am passionately committed to contribution and Living With Intention. Part of my philosophy is to think globally while acting locally. I am a very active member of my church, as well as several community organizations. After church, my favorite philanthropy is the Nourish the Children. I have also performed extensive volunteer work for both the Anthony Robbins Foundation, and the Make a Wish Foundation. Why become an Entrepreneur? I became an entrepreneur because after 5 years of Health Care Reform I found I was merely an employee of the various insurance company’s I was interacting with. I became painfully aware I was working more hours for less money and that what I was doing wasn’t working! At the same time my beautiful daughter, Casey, was born. This was the first time in my life I started to think about my future, and of course hers. When children come into your life, your perspective changes from Firebirds and Ferrari’s to Gymnastics, music lessons, horseback riding and so forth. Suddenly, I had to think longterm – was what I was doing going to provide all the things that a father wants for his children? In October of 1998 I started my entrepreneurial endeavors on a very part time basis. Less than 3 months later my New Year’s Resolution was to put my practices up for sale. In May of 1999 I sold them and began to work on my dreams and my fortune on a full time basis. From there, it took me a full five years to get to the point where I could do whatever I wanted to do. Along the way I wrote my first book: “Morning Moments”…as well as learning a few things about money, transitioning careers and happiness. I am happy to share what I know, in short again; “I’ve traveled the territory, drawn a few maps and I’m happy to share them” In summary; Transitioning careers was the hardest challenge I’ve ever taken up and it’s been the most rewarding! In so many ways, this is the very best personal development seminar I’ve ever taken because I met mySelf and my wife in the process…and every perceived adversity was worth it. Today, with my wife Julie, we “get to” pay the gift forward by coaching, mentoring others through the same process. There is no greater pleasure than showing others how to earn their freedom and then observing what good they do with it. Life Will Never Be The Same
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3 Responses to The Big Deal – that shouldn’t have been

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  3. Karine Pizur says:

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