A mistake caused the top two golfers to be disqualified at the Missouri Women's Golf Association Mid Amateur Championship at Kirkwood on Friday.
Columbia's Mindy Coyle, who was the defending champion, and St. Louis Ellen Port were both disqualified when it was discovered that they had both played from the wrong tees earlier in the tournament.
Carmen Titus of Kansas City was declared the tournament champion. She had finished third.
The golfers were instructed to play from the gold "championship" tees. During the first round, on No. 10, the white "open" tees were incorrectly placed further away than the championship tees. The two players played the back tees.
"Unfortunately, the rules in the competition's notice said to play gold tees, it did not say, 'unless they are placed incorrectly,'" said Head Rules Official Karen Shippy said in her ruling. "It is the player's responsibility to conform to that rule.
"Unfortunately Ellen Port and Mindy Coyle have been disqualified for the tournament."
"There was confusion," Karen Johnson, MWGA communications director, said. "They reported that they had played from the gold. It was a really honest mistake."
"The rules of golf are pretty clear, unfortunately," she said. "I'm sure it's a bitter pill to swallow."
The 36-hole, two-round tournament was held at the Greenbriar Hills Country Club in Kirkwood. It is open to women ages 25 and older. It is in its fourth year.