Whether it’s taking the SATs or spending 24 hours in a Waffle House, we all love a good fantasy football punishment … as long as it’s not happening to us. John Eckert recently fulfilled one of the more elaborate last-place punishments you’ll see, competing in a local US Open qualifier at Oakwood Country Club in Kansas City. The 26-year-old came in dead-last, finishing 40 strokes off the lead shared by Ryan Argotsinger and Andrew Beckler at even par. Eckert told ESPN’s Mark Schlabach he usually scores in the low 90s but came nowhere near that number Monday, carding a disastrous 112 for 18 holes.
A native of Overland Park, Kansas, Eckert thought his day couldn’t get any worse after shanking his opening tee shot, which traveled all of 20 yards. But it did. Much worse, in fact. After recovering for a 54 on the front nine (aided by pars on four, five, seven and nine), Eckert went all the way off the rails, shooting +22 over his final nine holes. Entrants for regional qualifying events are required to have a handicap below 1.4, which obviously wasn’t the case for Eckert. He’ll soon receive a sternly-worded letter from the USGA, forfeiting his amateur status and the chance to compete in future US Open qualifiers.
Eckert almost missed his tee time, claiming he had gone to the wrong hole. That was a lie to buy him more time at the range, not that the extra reps helped much. Texting a friend about the experience, Eckert’s partner said he was annoyed at having to play with someone who clearly didn’t belong, but eventually saw the humor in it, admitting the unusual round made for a “hell of a story.”
You can bet Eckert will be putting in some long hours in ESPN’s Mock Draft Lobby this summer, hoping to avoid the embarrassment of another last-place finish and whatever cruel punishment awaits.