CHARLOTTE, N.C. — PGA Tour golfer Zac Blair was disqualified from the Wells Fargo Championship after hitting himself in the head with his putter — and then using the bent club to finish out the hole Friday.
Blair smacked the putter against his head after missing a birdie putt on the fifth hole. He could have finished the round by using a different club to putt but was disqualified when he tapped in for a par with the bent putter. He broke rule 4-3b, which stipulates if "a player's club is damaged other than in the normal course of play rendering it nonconforming or changing its playing characteristics, the club must not subsequently be used or replayed during the round."
Blair said in a statement he didn't notice the putter was bent until the next hole and immediately told a tour official of the situation.
"Going forward I'm going to do my best to not let my emotions get in the way out on the golf course, and I'm going to learn from this mishap and move on," Blair, 25, from Salt Lake City, said in a statement.
Andrew Loupe took a one-stroke lead over Roberto Castro at 8-under 136, while Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler were close behind.
Loupe shot 1-under 71 with four birdies and three bogeys. Castro's 66 was the best round of the day. He eagled No. 18, one of the toughest closing holes on the PGA Tour.
Chesson Hadley (67) and Mark Hubbard (68) were two back. Fowler shot 68, and Mickelson had 70 to reach 5 under.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy bogeyed the final two holes for a 69 to drop six back.
"There's a lot of good golfers right behind me,'' Loupe said.
LPGA: So Yeon Ryu birdied five of her last eight holes for bogey-free 7-under 65 and a two-stroke lead in the Yokohama Tire Classic at Prattville, Ala. Ranked 10th in the world but sixth in the race for the four spots on South Korea's Olympic team, Ryu made three straight birdies on Nos. 2-4 and added two more on the par-4 sixth and par-5 eighth. She had 9-under 135 total on the links-style Senator Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. Minjee Lee, Morgan Pressel and Ryann O'Toole were tied for second. Lee closed with bogey for 70. Pressel had 68, and O'Toole birdied her final hole for 67.
CHAMPIONS: John Daly shot 2-under 70 in his senior debut, leaving him four behind leader Mike Goodes in the Insperity Invitational at the Woodlands, Texas. Daly had four birdies and two bogeys and was tied for 12th. He turned 50 on April 28. "It was like starting all over," Daly said. "It's cool coming out here and having positive nerves. I was surprised how good I hit the ball."