European Challenge Tour player Clement Berardo was disqualified on Thursday from the 2019 Andalucia Costa del Sol Match Play 9 when he ran out of golf balls.
The Frenchman was struggling in the first round of the event, sitting at 10 over par for the round through 15 holes when he ran out of balls on the 16th hole. Berardo got off to a bad start, making a quadruple-bogey 9 on the first hole. He had bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes to get to 10 over at the Valle Romano Golf in Estepona, Spain.
Under the Rules of Golf, there is no limit to how many golf balls a golfer can carry in their bag. However, once they run out of the balls they have in their bag to play, they have limited options. A golfer can borrow golf balls from a playing partner, or they can acquire them some other way — even buy them in the pro shop — but they cannot cause “undue delay” in a round. If they do, they’re disqualified.
In PGA Tour, most professional and high-level amateur tournaments, contestants must abide by the One Ball Rule, meaning they can only play a single golf ball — same manufacturer and model — throughout a stipulated round. So, if a golfer chooses to borrows from another must be the same manufacturer and model the golfer has been playing throughout the round. That’s not always likely.
In this case, Berardo was unable to procure more golf balls, so he was disqualified because you can’t play golf without golf balls.