Golf has quite a bit of terminology, and to be well versed in the sport, it’s important to learn what these different terms mean.
The term WD is a popular one that you may see when watching a round of professional golf.
We have been around the game for quite some time and have a good understanding of the meaning and importance of this terminology.
If you are also curious as to what these terms mean and how they could impact your game, here is everything you need to know.
What Does WD Mean In Golf?
WD in golf means that the player withdrew from the tournament.
When a golfer decides to withdraw, they typically have a very good reason that makes this necessary.
Sometimes this could be a personal issue or a problem they have with the tournament itself.
Regardless of why a person decides to withdraw from the event, it is typically understood as being a negative and something that could mean potential issues for the player in the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you may see a WD on the scoreboard when watching a round of golf.
Why Would A Player Withdraw From A PGA Tour Event?
There is some speculation out there about whether or not it is fair for PGA Tour players to withdraw from a PGA Tour event.
Of course, at times, some issues come up that make it impossible to play with.
However, others believe that it should be the responsibility of the player to finish out the event.
Golfers withdraw from PGA Tour events for various reasons, and it can bring trouble to the tournament sponsors, hosts, and even other players in the event.
1. Medical Injury
The PGA Tour requires players that withdraw in the middle of the round to give a reason for why they are leaving.
They let them know that to stay in good graces with the PGA tour, they must have an excuse for why they are leaving the tournament.
Most of the time, the injury is very apparent.
You can probably remember seeing Tiger Woods hunched over in pain a few times when his back went out during play.
Other times a player will have an ankle or wrist problem that makes it nearly impossible for them to play the game.
The medical injury reason for withdrawal could mean that a golfer is out for a few days, but it could also mean they are out for the rest of the season.
Just as when you see a football or a hockey player get carted off the field for medical reasons, the same thing sometimes happens in golf.
This is when players need to evaluate the extent of their injury and whether or not it makes sense for them to keep playing.
Sometimes you can make it through a round and get treatment afterward, but many times it requires a player to walk off the course in the middle of the round.
Another issue that golfers run across that could cause them to withdraw is an illness.
Getting sick and playing golf can be difficult.
If you have a fever or a stomach virus, golf is demanding to try to play as you make your way around the course.
There is lots of movement involved, and you must have a strong mental game to play great golf.
These things are hard to do when you don’t feel well.
We also saw the illness factor come into play quite a bit with the Covid pandemic.
Many players had to leave an event if they tested positive to protect the rest of the golfers that were playing.
Illness and injuries are problems that will never really go away in golf, and that’s precisely why the WD status is there.
3. Problems With The Golf Game
Sometimes golfers will try to leave a tournament because of problems with their golf game.
Of course, this is not a legitimate excuse, according to the PGA Tour.
Essentially people will come to an event to watch certain players, and hosts will even advertise that certain players will be at the event.
If this golfer makes a triple bogey at the start of their first round and then decides to leave the tournament, it has a very bad look for all involved.
Problems with your golf game need to be fought through.
That is the only fair way to participate in a tournament.
Sometimes golfers will shoot a high score and then leave the event.
This makes many fans and even other golfers question whether the player was actually injured or if they were having a problem with their golf game.
Problems with the golf game, however, can be caused by an injury or an illness.
For instance, when we see Tiger shooting in the high 70s, chances are he is struggling with his back, and that is causing the higher score.
4. Family Emergency
Another common reason you may see a player leave a tournament early is a family emergency.
Some golfers will have a death in the family or even the birth of a child, and they need to leave to deal with this.
As much as we hold these professional golfers on a pedestal, they are still regular people with real lives.
Sometimes they run across issues that need to be taken care of in the same way that we do.
Just as you would get a day off of work, the PGA Tour golfer sometimes needs to leave the tournament to deal with personal things.
Again, this is something that the PGA Tour would recognize as a valid reason for leaving an event or tournament.
Why Is It An Issue When A Golfer WD’s From An Event?
Golfers have a much different career than other professional athletes.
Since golfers are working for themselves and not a part of a team, whether they decide to play in tournaments or continue after a tough day on the course is really up to them.
However, there are problems related to a golfer pulling out of an event, and it doesn’t look great for the career of the player either.
Here are a few of the issues that you will see come up when a golfer withdraws from an event.
1. Sponsors And Host
The sponsor and host of the tournament typically have a specific plan in place as to who will play with each other and how they can advertise the event.
When a sponsor can bring in a big-name player, the chance of them having a more successful event with more attention from people is quite a bit higher.
Think of it this way; if a golf tournament sponsor can bring in Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, and Brooks Koepka, and then all three of these players drop out, you can imagine the impact this will have.
The sponsors and host are generally quite disappointed when this kind of thing happens, even though it is often out of any single person’s control.
When players decide to withdraw from an event, they also have to think about the impact it’s going to have on the brands that they represent.
These brands pay the players quite a bit of money to wear their products and to support the name while they are on tour.
As soon as they leave the event, that brand has lost its advertisement from that player for the rest of the round.
It’s a big decision to withdraw from a tournament, one that players don’t take lightly.
Spectators come to an event to see certain players.
No matter who you are or how long you have played the game of golf, you will very likely have your favorite players.
Your tickets to the event are probably purchased several months before the event.
This is why it’s important that players that say they are coming to the event stay in the event.
If you sign up to see certain people and then are not able to enjoy watching them, your experience with the event is going to be less than ideal.
The spectators are a major reason the game of golf is so profitable to companies and manufacturers.
If spectators are disappointed with the field size or with the players that are in the event, they will be much less likely to support the event in future years.
Overall the spectators are also essential to keep in mind when making rules and decisions about golf event withdrawals.
3. Other Players
Another option that should be considered is other players that tried to make their way into the event.
It’s hard to make the cut for a golf tournament, and hundreds if not thousands of people try to make it.
The spots are limited, and therefore those that get in need to be taking full advantage of the spot they have and the opportunity they have to showcase their ability.
When you withdraw after the first round of play, you have given up a spot that somebody could have had for the rest of the week.
This is very likely a player that is trying to make their way up the ranks and become a great player.
Other players in the game are waiting for their chance to make it professionally, and they will need all the chances they can get.
If a professional simply withdraws from a tournament after a bad round, they are unfairly taking the spot of another player.
It’s embarrassing and disappointing to shoot a high round, but it is part of the game, and sometimes amateurs even like to see this happen.
Are PGA Tour Golfers Allowed To Withdraw From A Tournament?
PGA Tour golfers can withdraw from a tournament because of an injury or illness.
The players are not able to leave just because they feel like it or because they don’t want to put a high number on their scorecard.
That brings problems for the PGA and is not fair to other golfers that are playing in the event.
Most players with an injury or illness will complete their round, and then, at the end of the round, they will report that they won’t be coming back.
This is always an unfortunate situation, and it will have an impact on the pairings for the next day as well as other things.
Some golfers may try to walk off the course with a poor attitude after having a really bad hole, but the PGA tour highly discourages this and requires players to withdraw for a legitimate reason to stay in good standing.
Do Players That WD From A Golf Tournament Get Paid?
Players that WD from a golf tournament will not get paid.
The money for an event is distributed after the final round of play to all of the players that completed the entire event.
This is one of the main reasons that golfers try to finish all the holes of an event.
Thus, withdrawing from a golf event could mean that you give up hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Certainly, you can find a way to get through the event even with a slight injury or illness.
However, there are times when the injury or illness is too much to overcome.
Did Tiger Woods Ever WD?
Tiger Woods has withdrawn from several golf tournaments throughout the years.
If you know Tiger well, you know that he is a very aggressive golfer.
When Tiger goes after the ball, he is trying to hit it very hard, and this has done a number on his body over the years.
Tiger is a go-getter, but when your body is forced to do this type of strenuous exercise week in and week out, it can become really difficult to keep up.
Through the years, Tiger has had knee, back, and now leg injuries that make it hard for him to compete.
One thing Tiger always tries to do is that he tries to assess how he is before the start of an event and if he is not feeling fully ready, he will withdraw before the event starts.
This is the fairest way to do it and will help eliminate issues that other players, sponsors, or tournament administrators may have with the process.
In the end, Tiger is only human, and it has cost him some withdrawals through the years.
At this point, you should no longer be confused by seeing the WD next to a player’s name at the end of a golf event.
This WD is a way of letting everyone know that this player has started the event but will not be able to finish it.
Golfers that struggle with injuries and illness need a way to leave the event without it costing them issues with their career or the tournament host.
This WD method is the best way to allow that to happen and to keep the overall event as fair and as enjoyable as possible.