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June 24, 2013

Golfer loses amateur status over unpaid commercial spot

Posted at 2:14 PM by Josh Sens | Categories: amateur status, Scott Pieri

He didn’t get paid to appear in the commercial.

But it wound up costing him a lot.

That’s the bad news for Scott Pieri, an accomplished golfer from Fort Wayne, Ind., who has been stripped of his amateur status for his role in a short commercial spot.

As Golfweek reported Sunday, though Pieri wasn’t compensated for the appearance -- a 10-second testimonial for Golf Etc, a local club-fitting shop owned by a friend -- it was enough to put him in violation of the USGA’s rule 6-2, which lays down the do’s and don’ts for amateurs vis-a-vis promotion, advertising and sales.

Because he wasn’t paid for the appearance, Pieri thought that he was in the clear.

But, according to Golfweek, Pieri said the USGA ruled that the commercial appearance could have raised his profile enough to gain him entries into additional tournaments.

Pieri told Golfweek that he had no plans to appeal the USGA’s decision, which leaves him in an awkward spot.

The 45-year-old Pieri says that he has contemplated a run at the Champions Tour. But that opportunity remains five years off.

Meantime, he’ll have to decide whether to remain a professional or seek reinstatement as an amateur, a process he’s experienced once before.

In a prior life as a professional, Pieri Monday-qualified for three PGA Tour events and won the 2003 Indiana PGA Professional Championship. He then sought reinstatement as an amateur, a status he was granted after a two-year wait.

“I’ve been down this road before,” Pieri told Golfweek. “I wasn’t planning to go down it again. I’m going to make this as much positive as I can.”

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