An Honorable Man
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
-Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
The PGA Tour is a tough stage on which to perform. However, getting on the Tour is even tougher. “Q-School,” as it is called, is a tournament held in which hopeful players compete to make the cut and try to qualify for the following year’s Tour. One such player is J.P. Hayes. Hayes was not on Tour in 2008, but he is quite the accomplished golfer. As he played his second round at Q-School on the twelfth hole here is what happened according to the sports blog on Yahoo!:
“On his 12th hole of the first round at Deerwood Country Club last Wednesday, Hayes' caddie reached into his golf bag, pulled out a ball and flipped it to Hayes, who missed the green with his tee shot. He then chipped on and marked his ball. It was then that Hayes realized the ball was not the same model Titleist with which he had started his round. That was in violation of the one-ball rule, which stipulates that a player must play the same model throughout a round.”
Hayes did the honorable thing and took a 2-stroke penalty, yet still finished his round able to advance. The first act was honorable enough. Many today would have hidden the violation and continued on. Still, what he did next makes him stand out even more.
He stated (again, according to Yahoo!), "It was a Titleist prototype, and somehow it had gotten into my bag," he said. "It had been four weeks since Titleist gave me some prototype balls, and I tested them. I have no idea how or why it was still in there ... I called an official in Houston that night and said, 'I think I may have a problem. He said they'd call Titleist the next day. I pretty much knew at that point I was going to be disqualified."
Hayes had the integrity and character enough to do the right thing. In the New Testament, Paul wrote to the Philippians about fixing their thoughts on what is true and honorable, and if Paul was alive today, he would challenge us in the same manner.
In our win-at-all-cost society we should all ask ourselves what we would have done in a similar situation. How would our character hold up? I pray that we all would react just like Hayes did. We all face choices in our lives that force us to choose either a right or wrong path. I am glad Hayes chose the right path for his life. Who knows what it will cost with his golf game, but the value of his character has just gone through the roof! I pray that today, yours would do the same!
1. Have you been faced with a situation like J.P. Hayes? What was it, and how did you respond?
2. How is your character stacking up these days? What would others say of your character?
3. Today, is there an area in your life that no one sees that is in need of an integrity overhaul?