Davis Riley, a 16-year-old competitive golfer from Hattiesburg, Miss., could have won the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Golf Championship this month. Instead, toward the end of the game, he called a one-stroke penalty on himself, which added a point to his score and dropped him out of first place and into second place.
As this article reports, Riley addressed the ball, checked his line, looked back down and then stood straight up and said, “It moved.” In other words, while preparing to hit the ball he looked up to see where the hole was, when he looked back down he realized that his club accidentally tapped the ball and moved it, which is considered a penalty.
Apparently no one else witnessed the penalty, which means he could have gotten away with the shot and won the championship. But he chose honesty over winning, which is not an easy choice to make.
- What do you think of Riley’s decision to self-report his penalty? If you found yourself in Riley’s situation, what would you have done?
- Have you ever found yourself torn between telling the truth vs. getting what you wanted? Talk about what happened. How did you feel in the end?
- At the end of the article, Riley is also praised for talking positively about his opponent, rather than focusing on his loss. This is an example of good sportsmanship. Can you talk about a time you or a team you were on demonstrated good sportsmanship?
- As the article notes, integrity is a big part of the game of golf. What does the word ‘integrity’ mean to you?