Something tells me Blayne Barber would make a lousy basketball player.
He'd probably stink at baseball, football, soccer, cycling and Texas Hold 'Em, too.
Good for him, I say.
Who's Blayne Barber? He's a 22-year-old professional golfer who was on his way to earning a PGA Tour card for the 2013 season. However, after wrestling with a difficult decision, the former college All-American disqualified himself rather than live with a lie.
See, Barber recently finished in a tie for fourth place during the first stage of the Tour's Qualifying School tournament in Pine Mountain, Ga. A full five shots above the cut line, he'd taken a huge step toward his dream of playing PGA golf.
There was just one problem: his conscience.
After doubting himself for nearly a week, Barber called Tour officials on Nov. 2 and confessed to signing an incorrect scorecard, clearing the way for six other golfers to advance to the next phase of Q-School.
While it's unlikely anyone else would have known about his initial infraction -- or for that matter if he really did commit one in the first place -- the former Auburn Tiger called a personal foul rather than live with a guilty conscience.
"I knew I needed to do the right thing," Barber told Golfweek.com "I knew it was going to be disqualification."
Playing in the second round of the Q-School tournament at Callaway Gardens, Barber was in a sand bunker on the 13th hole when he thought he brushed a leaf inside the hazard, a violation of Rule 13-4c.
The truth is, he wasn't 100 percent sure he'd even brushed that silly little leaf. But he thought he did, so he informed his playing partners he was assessing himself a penalty.
His caddy, who also happens to be his brother, Shanye, told him he watched the swing and was sure there was no violation. Nevertheless, Blayne signed for a 71 at the end of his round and went on about the business of preparing for the third round. However, while chatting with a former college teammate, Barber mentioned the incident and was told the violation of Rule 13-4c is actually a two-stroke penalty, not the single-stroke variety Blayne assumed.
"That's when things went haywire in my mind," he said. "My caddie was watching and didn't see the leaf move. I thought maybe I'd psyched myself into thinking I'd (touched the leaf)."
Blayne decided to keep playing and finished the tournament in a tie for fourth, plenty good enough to get him into the second phase of qualifying. But he also couldn't shake the feeling he'd done something wrong.
"I continued to pray about it and think about it, and I just did not have any peace about it," he told Golfweek.
So, after six days of quiet deliberation -- and what were surely five nights of sleeplessness -- Barber called Tour officials and disqualified himself because he'd signed an incorrect scorecard.
"I just feel peace about it," Barber said. "Doing the right thing and doing what I know is right in my heart and in my conscience is more important than short-term success."
Just in case you missed it, go back and read that quote again.
Pretty amazing, isn't it?
This season the NBA is trying to crack down on "flopping," better known as the practice of pretending to be fouled in order to get the ref to make a bad call.
Soccer players do it all the time, too.
Major League Baseball continues to deal with the fallout from rampant steroid usage and I've still never seen an NFL player throw one of those yellow hankies at himself.
Speaking of yellow, don't even get me started on Lance Armstrong.
Now, I'm not here to imply other athletes don't have consciences; in fact, I'm sure a great many do. However, in a world where deception, doping and outright cheating seem to be not only acceptable, but required, I love that the game of golf remains above the fray.