Who says there is no honor left in sports anymore?
Brian Davis --- one of golf’s less recognized faces -- played against Jim Furyk in the final round of the Verizon Heritage PGA tournament. Having never won a PGA Tour event, you may assume Davis would do anything in his power to secure victory.
Not so much.
After his first shot of the playoff round landed among some weeds, Davis walked over to the ball and took his next swing. However, as he tried to get the ball up onto the green, Davis’ club hit a stray weed during the backswing. Tour rules clearly state that hitting any material around during the backswing is a violation, and earns a two-stroke penalty. In a playoff setting, it essentially means the match is over.
Nobody initially noticed the violation. That wasn’t good enough for Davis, however. The golfer stopped the game, and walked over to call the violation on himself to officials. After a slow-motion replay of the shot on TV, it was confirmed there was indeed movement during his backstroke.
When the violation was confirmed, Davis immediately conceded victory to a very surprised Furyk.
Davis later had this to say:
"It was one of those things, I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. And I thought we’d check on TV, and indeed there was movement.”
Furyk received a $1.03 million prize for his victory. Davis made out well, too, taking home $615,000 for second place. Perhaps more importantly, he also walked away with his honor in tact.
Furyk had this to say after the tournament:
"To have the tournament come down that way is definitely not the way I wanted to win…It’s obviously a tough loss for him and I respect and admire what he did."
In a sports environment filled with stories of adultery, cheating, and poor overall behavior, it’s great to see a positive story about a good man.
The question now becomes: How much airtime will Davis’ gesture receive on the news compared to Tiger Woods and his escapades?
We all know the answer to that one.