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Bernhard Langer was left completely baffled by the pro who admitted to cheating during a PGA Tour Canada event.
The German legend condemned Justin Doeden, the 28-year-old player who confessed to breaking the rules on the developmental circuit last week, in a story that has gripped the wider golf community.
Doeden withdrew from the Commissionaires Ottawa Open after his second round after it emerged there may have been wrongdoing on the 18th hole at Eagle Creek Golf Club.
It was reported by Monday Q Info that Doeden was set to miss the cut before changing his score on the final hole of his round.
He was said to have made a double-bogey seven, but erased the number on his card and changed it to a five after his marker left the scoring area, which would have seen him make the cut.
Two players spotted the apparent mistake on Doeden’s score on the leaderboard and the scorecard was pulled, with an investigation now ongoing into the incident after his withdrawal.
“I am here to confess to the biggest mistake I have made in my life to date,” Doeden wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“I cheated in golf. This is not who I am. I let my sponsors down. I let my competitors down. I let my family down. I let myself down. I pray for your forgiveness.”
I am here to confess of the biggest mistake I have made in my life to date. I cheated in golf. This is not who I am. I let my sponsors down. I let my competitors down. I let my family down. I let myself down. I pray for your forgiveness. John 1:9 @acaseofthegolf1
— Justin Doeden (@jdoeden11) July 24, 2023
The incident has stunned many in the golf world, with Langer completely perplexed by Doeden’s “foolish” decision.
“I don’t know what circumstances this player is living under and what’s going on and whether that one stroke would improve his life dramatically, I have no idea,” Langer said ahead of the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl. “I can’t imagine it.
“There’s tremendous stress out there, a lot of pressure. Some of these people, they have family, they have young kids and they live from this paycheck to the next one, so it can be very tempting.”
“But to me it’s foolish, especially changing a scorecard is ridiculous, really. I mean, how can you think you’re going to get way with changing a scorecard? You’re not just breaking a rule. You’re actually stupid.”
Padraig Harrington, who is the big favourite to win the senior major in South Wales this week, was equally as bemused when asked about the Doeden’s cheating.
“I honestly don’t know, was it a cry for help, I have no idea,” Harrington said. “It just seems bizarre that somebody would do that in a – what event was it? So, like a fully-fledged organised tour event. And he thought he would get away with it?”
Doeden now faces an uncertain future as tour officials fully investigate what happened in Ottawa.
It was reported that, had Doeden’s change to his scorecard not been spotted, 13 players would have fallen outside the top 60, which is the cut mark to reach the final two rounds on the PGA Tour Canada.
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