Pro Disqualified From US Women's Open After Five Holes

Natthakritta Vongtaveelap was disqualified from the US Women's Open after her caddie used a rangefinder on multiple occasions

Thai golfer, Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, playing the US Women's Open at Pebble Beach
Natthakritta Vongtaveelap was playing in her first US Women's Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LPGA Tour rookie, Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, saw her debut start at the US Women’s Open come to an abrupt end after the Thai golfer was disqualified after just five holes.

Vongtaveelap was even par through five holes but was not allowed to continue after USGA officials found that her caddie, Jinsup Kim, had used a rangefinder on multiple occasions. 

Players on the LPGA Tour are allowed to use the distance measuring devices in regular Tour events as well as the first two Majors of the season, the Chevron Championship and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

However, this is not the case for the US Women’s Open, held this year at Pebble Beach, with a model local rule prohibiting the use of such devices. The specific ruling, Model Local Rule G-5, states that: “during a round, a player must not obtain distance information by using an electronic distance-measuring device.” 

The penalty, as per rule 4.3, can be a two-shot penalty for a single infraction, but as Vongtaveelap’s caddie was caught on multiple occasions, the 20-year-old was unfortunately disqualified.

It comes just a week after a similar incident on the Korn Ferry Tour where Zach Williams, playing in his first-ever Korn Ferry Tour event in his home state of Illinois, was disqualified after just two holes for the same breach having thought that the devices were permitted at the event.

Vongtaveelap, in her rookie season, finished second in her first event on Tour at the Honda LPGA Thailand. However, the 20-year-old has made just two cuts in her next six events, including at the first two Majors of the season.


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Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.