Pro Reacts After Agonisingly Missing Out On PGA Tour Card

Shad Tuten has addressed the incident at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship and vowed to continue working for his first PGA Tour card

Shad Tuten during the Korn Ferry Championship in Indiana
Shad Tuten has responded to a penalty that cost him his first PGA Tour card
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The battle for a place in the top 30 of the Korn Ferry Tour points list is not for the fainthearted given the high stakes reward of a PGA Tour card.

However, Tour pro Shad Tuten's challenge ended in particularly bizarre and cruel fashion when he was given a two-shot penalty in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship for an innocuous-looking rules violation after thinking he had done enough to earn the prize.

While that would undoubtedly have been a devastating blow for Tuten, he has now posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) addressing the issue and vowing to come back stronger.

He said: “Golf has been my life ever since I started playing professionally in 2016 and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. I intend on competing for a long time because I love the game. I also want to say that everything I did during the Korn Ferry Tour Championship was the right thing to do in my eyes.”

Tuten was penalised after lifting his ball to clean and replace it, in line with a local rule, but the ball moved. He then set the ball down again, only not on the exact same spot, but slightly to the right, which eventually incurred the penalty. Tuten went on to birdie the hole, but that became a bogey following the penalty, which was enough to see him finish outside the top 30.

Despite the minor indiscretion that cost so much, Tuten admitted he was happy with the way he had played. He continued: “I played some incredible golf and I’m extremely happy with the way I performed under the most intense pressure of my professional career. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. It is what it is. We’re going to grow from it and be a better player in the end.”

Thankfully, Tuten doesn’t need to wait too long for another chance to secure his place on the PGA Tour. He explained: “Looking forward to my next step which is Q School in December and trying to earn a PGA Tour card that way.”

Not surprisingly, the incident led to plenty of sympathy coming Tuten’s way, with questions over whether the rules of golf are too rigid and even turning would-be players away. Tuten finished by thanking fans for the calls and messages he had received after his heartbreak.

One response to the video came from veteran caddie Kip Henley, who wrote: “Wonderful person and a complete player. Will 100% have status very soon! One of the great benefits of me working the KFT this year was me getting to hang out with a bunch of dudes just like Shad! So many great stories coming to y’all soon!”

At the tournament in Newburgh, Indiana, Tuten completed a two-over second round 74 to finish T19 – enough to finish in the top-30 of the Korn Ferry Tour points list before the penalty saw him drop to T28 and two places beneath the cut-off needed to secure the potentially life-changing PGA Tour card.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.