When No One is Watching

watchingThey say the test of character is who you are when no one is watching.

PGA golfer JP Hayes proves that there is still honesty and integrity in sports.

During the second stage of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament last week, Hayes discovered that he had unwittingly used a prototype golf ball not approved by the United States Golf Association.

No one would have known. But Hayes, honoring the tradition of a game where the players police themselves, turned himself in and was disqualified.

On his 12th hole of the first round, Hayes’ caddie reached into his golf bag and tossed a ball to Hayes, who played two shots — a tee and a chip onto the green — and marked his ball. At that point he realized the ball he was playing was not the same model with which he started the round — by rule, a two-stroke penalty.

“I realized there was a penalty and I called an official over,” Hayes said, according to the newspaper. “He said the penalty was two shots and that I had to finish the hole with that ball and then change back to the original ball.”

On Thursday night, Hayes realized that the errant golf ball might not have been on the approved list.

Hayes had a choice: He could have said nothing and kept playing, with no one aware of his mistake. Or he could turn himself in and let his mistake cost him a 2009 PGA Tour card. He chose the latter.

Hayes, 43, is refusing to blame his caddie for the error, saying he should have spotted the errant ball because it did not have a model name on the seam.

Had Hayes kept the error to himself he likely would have gained millions…at least hundreds of thousands.  His take on the error?  Now he can spend more time with his family.

Wouldn’t it be great if instead of being known for being against things we stood for honesty, integrity, character, personal accountability, love and caring about others more than ourselves?

What if we realized that there is one who is always watching? Maybe then we would behave differently.

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4 Responses to “When No One is Watching”

  1. I would have kept my mouth shut and then donated 12.50 to the church to make up for it. Isn’t that how it works?

  2. Good witness, may we learn from one another

  3. “Wouldn’t it be great if instead of being known for being against things we stood for honesty, integrity, character, personal accountability, love and caring about others more than ourselves?”

    Amen!

    I think we all know someone is watching, but we don’t let that knowledge get to heart level. What if we all got into His words and prayer far enough to develope such a love for Him that we want to do the right things?

  4. All great points – except for Tim, but I sense sarcasm.

    Shawn – When we WANT to do what he wants us to do, then I think we finally get it.

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