U.S. Open qualifying contestant withdraws after American Airlines loses his clubs
Golf Culture

U.S. Open qualifying contestant withdraws after American Airlines loses his clubs

A potential 2017 U.S. Open contestant was forced to withdraw from Monday's final stage of U.S. Open sectional qualifying in Jupiter, Fla., because he didn't have clubs. And he didn't have clubs because American Airlines lost them.

Michael Buttacavoli had made the trek to the Florida east coast for the 36-hole qualifier, and he got there to find that American didn't have his clubs despite having a priority tag that's supposed to encourage the baggage crew to, you know, make it a priority that the bags get to their destination.

Buttacavoli had a back-and-forth with American, whose Twitter account offered a cursory, standard apology and promised a direct message. So far, Buttacavoli hasn't received that direct message.

Buttacavoli didn't necessarily have to play with his own clubs. He could have rented some sticks somewhere and given it a go. However, he chose not to do that, pulling out of the qualifier and losing a chance to get in the field at Erin Hills this year.

This is already bad enough, but hopefully American Airlines finds the clubs today and gets them to Buttacavoli. He's playing this week in the Dominican Republic on PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

American Airlines needs to take care of this situation as best they can. They can't get him another crack at making the Open field, but there has to be something.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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