Golfing Amateur Loses Status After Prop BetJuly 13, 2009 9:32 am
Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt had his amateur standing revoked by the U.S. Golf Association (USGA) after he had posted a $1 million prop challenge to any golfer or poker player.
The challenge was for any player who could defeat him over 72 holes and 10 heads-up poker matches, and although the challenge was never enacted the USGA still revoked his status. An amateur is seen as someone ‘who plays the game as a non-remunerative and non-profit-making sport and who does not receive remuneration for teaching golf or for other activities because of golf skill or reputation’
Initially, on June 8th, Schmidt received an e-mail informing him that he risked his amateur status if he went ahead with the challenge. He then sought advisory opinion which determined there would only be an issue if the bet went ahead.
However, a few days later his amateur status was revoked all the same. A furious Schmidt explained, “The rules of competitive events say that if you get a ruling that’s later deemed to be incorrect, they’re obligated to stand by it, and so I initially didn’t think much of it. Not only did they take my amateur status away, but they also gave me no recourse.”
Schmidt, who lives in Oregon, had to quit playing professional golf after he had a heart attack aged 23, but has since earned over $3million from online poker. However, losing his amateur status would be a real blow to him as, he explains, “They have no professional events here. I have a baby girl on the way and want to enjoy playing competitive golf close to home. If I have to play only in professional events, I’ll be forced to go on the road. I have no opportunity to play competitive golf here.”
Schmidt is determined to fight the ruling and take the USGA to court.