CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 06: Rickie Fowler (C) of the United States is congratulated by Rory McIlroy (L) of Northern Ireland and D.A. Points (R) of the United States after making a putt for birdie on the first playoff hole during the final round to win the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club on May 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Brian Harman backs his way into The Players Championship.
Turns out PGA Tour rookie Brian Harman will have a chance to tee it up in The Players Championship, after all. Officials will get Harman, the first alternate in this week’s field, out by himself at 12:20 p.m., ahead of the afternoon wave of golfers, according to Golf Channel.
When back pain forced D.A. Points out of the tourney before Thursday morning’s opening round, Harman was unable to get take Points’ spot because he couldn’t get to the tee in time for the 8:39 start. Golf Channel reported that officials were conferring about whether to disqualify Harman for missing the tee time, but instead worked it out so the tour rookie could take his turn in golf’s so-called “fifth major.”
As for Points -- who, with Rory McIlroy, came up short to Rickie Fowler at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship -- about 25 minutes before his 8:39 a.m. tee time, his back went into spasms and he immediately left the practice range for the physical therapy trailer for some treatment.
Following that, according to Golf Channel, Points walked quickly to the first tee, took a few practice swings, and told an official he couldn’t play (technically incurring a “Did Not Start”). He had hoped, apparently, to let Harmon take his turn, but the first-year tour golfer was unable to get to the tee -- some 200 yards from the TPC Sawgrass range -- on time.
Harman was apparently not amused. "It's The Players Championship, you have to give it a go," Harman told GolfChannel.com’s Rex Hoggard. "I'd have to be in a wheelchair not to give it a go here."
He won’t have to go to such lengths, as it turns out.
Meanwhile, Golf Channel reported that second alternate, Greg Owen, was on his way to Ponte Vedra from Orlando -- just in case someone else (like Hunter Haas, who also withdrew with back pain) can’t go.