The BMW/FEDEX Cup Steering Committee
The BMW/FEDEX Steering Committee
The Subcommittee on Rules & Punishments
Final report concerning the tournament status of Mr. James Michael Furyk
September 13, 2013
The Rules Subcommittee, in emergency session, determined by a unanimous vote that Mr. James Michael Furyk did violate Rule 101.1, the “par requirement,” which for Conway Farms Golf Club is 71 strokes. Mr. Furyk breached the rule when he suspended play after completing only 59 strokes of the 71 stroke requirement.
Moreover, he made clear his deliberate intention to discontinue play by abandoning his playing partners and his caddy and then leaving the golf course. Crucially, it must be noted, Mr. Furyk prematurely signed and submitted his incorrectly calculated scorecard while literally running through the club lobby and out the front door, mildly injuring two doormen.
Under normal circumstances Mr. Furyk’s offense would merit disqualification from further play in the BMW Championship.
Rule 101.1’s history dates from the 16th century. None other than Mary, Queen of Scots, the queen regnant of Scotland made the first official reference to the rule on February 13, 1567. Her notes indicate Her Majesty penalized Herself two strokes for violation of “the rule of 71” at Musselburgh Links.Some historians believe She did so partly to assuage Her grief (guilt?) over her husband, Lord Darnley, who, as he was sleepfully recovering from an illness at the Queen’s Kirk o’ Field estates just three days before, had died of natural causes precipitated by a massive explosion directly under his bedchamber. And this at a time when, coincidentally, the Queen was away from Kirk o’ Field at a favored servant’s marriage celebration. A later inquiry concluded Lord Darnley had died, not from the explosion itself, but from “a bout of spontaneous and quite natural strangulation of the neck,” which the inquiry council concluded had occurred soon after the preceding “naturally occurring explosive force.”
Rule 101.1 was again famously mentioned in 1612 when Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales, the son of King James I and VI violated Rule 101.1 which by then was well-established as among the primary rules of “gowf” (modern “golf”). From the King’s Gowf Recordation, Volume III, September through December 1612:
“On this day 3 June 1612 attested by the Sheriff of Blackheath Links the Prince of Wales failed to declare and confirm by oath His fealty to the rule of 71 during a gowf excursion at the King’s woods enclosure northwesterly of Edinburgh near the large hill shaped like the hideous beak nose of Guy Fawkes, known to His Majesty as Blackheath Common, and wherein par has been set by Royal decree at 71 strokes true, certain, and attested to under oath by the gowfer and his official marker, and furthermore, wherein the Prince of Wales reported and attested 51 strokes. And which the King’s Gowf Arithmetician does, with a high degree of certainty as God gives us to understand certainty, estimate to be in the neighborhood of 20 strokes in arrears of the 71 stroke par requirement.”
Thereafter, the 18-year-old Prince of Wales never played gowf again, and his death on November 6 of that very year, 1612, was then attributed to typhoid fever. His death, however, was later understood within the royal court to have resulted from a severe and vicious incantation of a gowf enthusiast who was also a practicing witch whose incantation was known to mimic typhoid fever (although the term “typhoid fever” was not in medical usage then). Finally, the Prince’s entirely natural death from self-propelled defenestration was also known to accompany witch incantations of this sort, particularly when invoked by a gowf enthusiast. None of these details have ever been released to the public. And, importantly within our context here today, all of these unfortunate events followed as the natural and legitimate consequence of the Prince’s breach of Rule 101.1 at Blackheath Links just five months before.
Many more example exist. For example,
- King Charles I’s multiple Rule 101.1 alleged violations were among the writs filed against him during his trial that began on 20 January 1649 in Westminster Hall and which resulted in his execution on January 30, 1649.
- It is now well-known and accepted, that Napoleon Bonaparte’s choice to return to France in 1815 and to make war again was known to his close associates as resulting from a dispute regarding an interpretation of Rule 101.1 with the Duke of Wellington and Prussian Generalfeldmarschall Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. The iconic battle of Waterloo resulted, and the Rule 101.1 dispute was thus settled in favor of Wellington and von Blücher until,
- September 30, 1939 whereupon it was settled finally, effective May 7, 1945.
- The rule has been unchallenged since then, except for one short period in October 1961 which was settled diplomatically and which upheld the Wellington/von Blücher settlement of 1815.
Hence, given its history and importance, the rule of 71, we must enforce violations for all but exceptional circumstances.
In re Furyk:
The Subcommittee on Rules and Punishments Such rules that such circumstances exist here. Under the Henry Frederick Stuart Exculpatory Rule, established by Royal Decree of King James I and VI on November 7, 1612:
“An alleged violation of Rule 101.1 shall be negated entirely should the violator be found by a competent gowf rules committee that the violator was, at the time of his violation, a true and certain nutter, attested by confident priests and magicians.”
In the instant case, Mr. Furyk’s bizarre behavior immediately after his 59th stroke on the afternoon of September 13, 2013, convinced the committee and the panel of golf psychiatrists, magicians, and social workers that Mr. Furyk had:
“suffered a psychotic break of supernatural proportions from which, through treatment by repeatedly injected medicinal potions and magic incantations, he has fully recovered.”
Therefore, now secure in our belief that the alleged miscreant, Mr. James Michael Furyk, has regained full compos mentis and recovered his understanding of Rule 101.1, and, furthermore, based upon his completely flawless professional golf record of more than 20 years,
we hereby reinstate Mr. James Michael Furyk for purposes of competing in round three.
Upon his completion of the round tomorrow, we shall again meet to evaluate his progress, and then we shall issue a decision about his eligibility for round four.
So decided, in unanimous fashion, on September 13, 2013″