Monday, April 19, 2010

Brian Davis' $411,000.00 Question

Brian Davis had a hard conversation with himself on Sunday afternoon. In a playoff situation at the Verizon Heritage PGA Tournament, he held the lead and found himself in a classic battle of good vs evil. You could almost see the little angel on one shoulder and the little devil on the other. In the center of this colossal battle lay a small piece of grass.

As Davis found his ball lying among some rocks, sand, grass and reeds, he knew he had a challenging shot. As he swung his iron through the sand, his ball lifted to the green and stopped a few feet from the pin. By most standards, it was a great shot. This is when the battle began. As soon as he finished his swing, Davis knew he had a decision to make...a decision that no other person would contest...a decision of character. Some define character as "who you are when no one else is looking." This was a defining moment for Brian Davis.

On the takeaway, Davis' club made contact with a blade of grass, or as rule 13.4 calls it, "a loose impediment." It happened so fast, that the only person who knew it was Davis. The consequence for this infraction was one stroke and  would cost him the win...his first win. And so, the battle ensued: "Do I confess my mistake or do I keep my mouth shut?" Davis did the right thing and called in a PGA official for a ruling. And doing so he forfeited not only the win, but $411,000.00 (Winning purse was $1,026,000; Davis received $615,000.)

What's the point? Proverbs 22:1 tells us, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Years from now most will not remember who won the 2010 Verizon Heritage Tournament. But for weeks and possibly years to come, people will refer to Davis' example as a model for honesty. His name and integrity will be remembered long after his winnings are forgotten.

Are you hiding something that no one knows but you? Do you desire to have a "good name?"

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