Boys Golf: Bryant Bolden sits out after DQ
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media September 11, 2012 10:38PM
Updated: October 14, 2012 1:39PM
Lincoln-Way Central beat Lincoln-Way West by seven strokes in a SouthWest Suburban Red dual meet Tuesday at the Sanctuary, but the contest was as notable for who didn’t play as who did.
Central’s top golfer, Bryant Bolden, sat at coach Don Hayes’ orders, after the senior was disqualified from Saturday’s Providence Invitational.
Bolden, a four-time winner of the SouthtownStar Challenge Junior Golf Championship and last season’s SouthWest Suburban Tourney medalist, was accused of dropping a ball while searching for an errant shot.
“It comes down to it that I accidentally dropped a ball, and from another person’s perspective, he thought I was cheating,” Bolden said.
Bolden said he lost sight of his drive on the 14th hole at the Sanctuary and was forced to look for his ball. After a few minutes — the rules stipulate five minutes to find a ball — Bolden said he was heading back toward the teebox to take a one-stroke penalty and re-tee when he dropped the ball he had taken from his bag for that purpose.
Another member of his foursome saw the drop as an attempt to illegally replace the lost ball.
Bolden acknowledged the ball dropped, but added, “There was no intention to (deceive).”
A randomly selected three-coach rules committee allowed Bolden to finish his round (he shot a 5-under 67) but chose to disqualify him afterward under USGA rules governing breaches of etiquette.
The rules committee was composed of coaches from Lincoln-Way East, Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley. Playing in Bolden’s foursome were golfers from Naperville Central, Neuqua Valley and Loyola.
“He’s been in 150 tournaments plus 66 high school tournaments and he’s never been accused of a thing,” said Central assistant coach Ken Connor, also Bolden’s grandfather and winningest boys basketball coach in Oak Forest High School history. “(Coach Hayes) has a disqualification policy for any matter, it’s not a punishment. We feel the committee acted too quickly and acted unjust.”
Bolden will be back in action Thursday along with his team and Tuesday’s co-medalist Tony Kestel (39).
“We’ll be fine moving forward, we just want to keep it rolling the rest of the season,” Kestel said.
Mike Baio led West with a 41, with Andrew O’Keefe and Sean Knights adding 42s for the Warriors.