For the first time in five attempts, amateur golfer Christopher Crawford looked poised to qualify for the 64-player match-play tournament at the United States Amateur Championship in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Then his game went, well, downhill. While preparing for a shot, 23-year-old Crawford realized his caddie was using the slope function on his distance-measuring device to read the course at Bel Air Country Club, reports ESPN. Though measuring instruments are permitted, Crawford's caddie—a last-minute fill-in for his regular caddie, who was sick—apparently didn't realize slope-reading was banned. What was Crawford to do? "I know nobody else would have known," he says. But "I knew instantly that I had to disqualify myself."
Had the slope reader been used once, Crawford would have been given a two-shot penalty. But Crawford's caddie had used the feature repeatedly and USGA rules state "multiple uses of a distance-measuring device with the slope feature activated" are grounds for disqualification, per Golf.com. "This is the biggest amateur tournament, and it's a commitment financially" so "to have it end in such a disappointing way is pretty crushing," Crawford tells ESPN. Still, he doesn't want praise for his sportsmanship. "You might as well congratulate a man for not robbing a bank," he says. He's getting it anyway. "Tournament finishes ultimately get lost to history. A player's character, however, withstands the test of time," writes Joel Beall at Golf Digest.