Golfer Claims USGA Barred Him Unfairly

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – A nationally ranked amateur golfer complains that the United States Golf Association unfairly stripped him of amateur status after he proposed, but did not play, a tournament combining golf and poker.

     Dustin Schmidt says the USGA accused him of violating its rules prohibiting “golf gambling.” Schmidt says he issued a “Million Dollar Challenge,” a four-day tournament combining two days of golf with two days of poker.
     Although each player would have put up $1 million of their own money, Schmidt says no formal prize money was offered. Schmidt says he canceled the challenge before anyone had accepted.
     The USGA stripped Schmidt of his amateur status in June, effectively barring him from amateur tournaments. The USGA claimed it would be unable to review Schmidt’s appeal until the fall, after the end of the golf season. It suggested that Schmidt wait a year before reapplying.
     The USGA regulates golf in the U.S. and Mexico through the Rules of Golf and by maintaining the Handicap System.
     Schmidt asked the Multnomah County Court to reinstate his amateur status. He is represented by Kenneth Davis with Lane Powell.

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