Bigger picture: HS golfer earns dream finish at finals, but self-reports accidental DQ

Cassandra NegleyYahoo Sports Contributor
A high school golfer gave up her dream finish for integrity. (Getty Images)
A high school golfer gave up her dream finish for integrity. (Getty Images)

An Indiana high school senior had her dream realized by reaching the podium of the state golf finals. Then the 17-year-old self-reported a disqualification.

Kiah Parrott of Kokomo High School shot a 6-over-par 78 in the first round of the Indiana state girls golf tournament on Friday and a 2-under 70 on Saturday. When she completed a birdie on her final hole as a high school athelte, she had done well enough for sixth place. It was her first top-10 finish in three tries at the tournament, a dream she had hoped to accomplish, per the Indianapolis Star.

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But she realized afterward that the online app had her at plus-3 rather than plus-4 for the tournament. She checked her scorecard and saw that her playing partner accidentally wrote “4” for what should have been “5” on hole No. 10, per the Star.

Parrott had already signed her scorecard. So her choices were to leave it as-is and take the fifth-place tie, which was one spot higher than she earned. Or turn herself in even though it’s highly unlikely anyone would have known the difference other than Parrott.

Via the Indianapolis Star:

“Obviously I knew I was going to turn myself in,” Parrott said. “I knew I was going to be disqualified. But there was no other option. I don’t like it when other people cheat and if I didn’t tell anyone, I would have been cheating. It would have made me feel worse. I knew what I really shot and I would just have to live with that. It was my error.”

Parrott said she learned to triple check her scorecard. Her father, Steve Parrott, viewed it as a lesson in character she’ll have with her far longer than any medals. He told the Star:

“I told her there is no question there is a bigger picture than standing on the podium,” he said. “Her dream was finishing on the podium. The dream for her mom [Amanda] and I is for her to have integrity and character. She’s fulfilled that. Five years from now, she will be able to sit down in a job interview and explain to someone what she did as a 17-year-old.”

Parrott earned all-state honors, which go to the top 10 finishers at the state tournament and 10 at-large selections. Teams, players and fans around the state took to social media to call her a class act, thank her for her respect of the game and overall commend her on her actions.

Parrott will golf at Ball State next year. Her senior year consisted of two broken course records and the school’s first conference title in more than a decade, per the Kokomo Tribune.

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