A stunning 202 over 18 holes, with 11 scores in double digits, in a sport in which the lowest score is the most highly prized. A cut that was missed by a more than ample 124 shots. What on earth was going on in the U.S. Amateur qualifier Monday at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.?
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Kristian Fortis said of watching his playing partner, Trey Bilardello, burn up the golf course and not in a good way (via the Golf Channel). “It was quite an experience.”
“Experience” is one word for a round that went drastically off course.
“He just started off like normal,” Fortis said of their start at the No. 10 tee. “He was actually not a bad golfer, and he hit some nice shots. He had two pars, and then it started to go a little downhill.”
Bilardello parred his first two holes, then scored a triple bogey at the par-4 12th, followed by a 10 on the par-5 13th. He had a 15 and a 11, respectively, on the 17th and 18th hole and from there you’d need a calculator to add up his score, which was originally reported at 194. On Tuesday, the Florida State Golf Association confirmed that there had been a scoring error and that, while Bilardello correctly carded a 131-over 202, the online system would not allow for scores of more than 19 to be entered. (He had a 25 and a 21 on two holes, adding eight strokes to the final score.)
“After the first nine, he said that he wanted to shoot the highest recorded score in USGA history,” Fortis said. “He just did not care. He was really rude to a lot of the officials, too. Something was off.”
That included shots inexplicably not targeted at the hole. “He’d be right next to the hole and then I guess he’d think to himself that he didn’t have enough strokes and he’d hit his ball in the opposite direction of the hole,” Fortis said.
Bilardello hasn’t commented on what he was trying to accomplish. The son of former Major League Baseball player Dann Bilardello, he remains an amateur but has played in several qualifiers over the years and has a 2.2 handicap. He also is a pro caddie who has spent most of this year on the bag for Matt Every, whose representative had no comment for Golf Digest.
Bilardello earned a disqualification Tuesday for what Beth Major, the U.S. Golf Association’s senior director of championship communications, told Golf Digest was “serious misconduct and failing to play in the spirit of the game” under Rule 1.2. “His disqualification was deemed appropriate as a result of the individual’s failure to show consideration for other players — deliberately playing away from the hole to run up his score.”
Last month, he was suspended from the Minor League Golf Tour for detrimental conduct. Despite his distracting antics, his playing partner shot a 76 and made the cut, shooting a 77 and finishing 11 over for the two-day qualifier. Three golfers qualified for the U.S. Amateur, which begins Aug. 12.
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