[PHOTO: Mike Mulholland]
If there was a silver lining to the bitter finish Shad Tuten suffered at October’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship – where a two-shot penalty in the final round cost him a PGA Tour card – it was knowing he had another shot at earning a card thanks to being exempt into the final stage of the newly revived PGA Tour Q-School. But now one disappointment appears to have created another.
On Friday, the 31-year-old tour pro from Augusta, Georgia, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he was not going to play in Q-School after all.
(2) After the Tour Championship and the disaster of a week that was, I’ve been having severe heart issues and they haven’t gotten any better. My family’s health and my health will always be most important and professional golf will come soon enough. Thanks for the support!
— Shad Tuten (@shadprogolf) December 8, 2023
Two months ago at Indiana’s Victoria National Golf Club, Tuten appeared as if he was going to earn the 30th and final PGA Tour card awarded in the Korn Ferry Tour Tour Championship after a birdie on the 15th hole put him inside the top 30 on the KFT points list. But when he finished his final round, a rules official informed Tuten he was going to have to add two shots to his score for a violation of Rule 14.2e on that 15th hole.
Before his third shot on the par 5, Tuten was allowed to lift, clean and place his ball in the fairway under the rules for the round. When he did so, however, his ball moved slightly after it had been placed. Because of that, when he hit his third shot, he technically played it from the wrong place. By adding the two shots, he was now 32nd on the points list and not PGA Tour-bound.
Tuten expressed his disappointment during a handful of media interviews in the days after the event. “I feel like something was stolen from me,” he told Ryan French on the Any Given Monday podcast.
Unfortunately, it appears the result has impacted his health. It’s unclear specifically the issues Tuten is suffering from, but they’re obviously serious enough to have him pass on playing in Q-School when it’s held from December 14-17 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Tuten, who has never played in a PGA Tour event, has a full KFT card for 2024.