Ben Crane was assessed an eight-stroke penalty Thursday in the first round of the Web.com Tour's Albertsons Boise Open for having two clubs with "shot-sticker" decals in his bag.
According to PGA.com's T.J. Auclair, Crane reported the first violation to officials after finishing the first hole, resulting in two two-stroke penalties for having the club in his bag between holes 10 and 11.
He informed the officials of the second non-conforming club while on the 14th hole, incurring another pair of two-shot punishments, the maximum penalty allowed under USGA rule 4-2 for each club, according to Auclair.
With the penalties factored in, Crane shot a five-over 76 on the day.
Following the round, Crane posted two tweets regarding the situation: "Had a new 'that's golf' moment today. Was penalized 8 shots for having tiny stickers on two clubs (help launch monitors collect data). ... Tournament golf is pretty challenging but it's REALLY difficult when you've accumulated 12 strokes before hitting your second tee shot."
Per ESPN.con's Bob Harig, Crane had no hard feelings against those who made the decision: "The rules staff did a great job and tried just to make it a four-shot penalty, but the rule stands. Eight-shot penalty. It's a bummer, but it's the rules."
The stickers on Crane's clubs were used in training to provide swing data. In the rules, however, it is stated that a sticker on a clubface represents an attachment, which is illegal.
While the 41-year-old Crane is a PGA Tour veteran, he lost his PGA Tour card after finishing 147th in the FedEx Cup standings.
If the five-time PGA Tour tournament winner can finish in the top 25 cumulatively over the course of a four-tournament stretch on the Web.com Tour, though, he will regain his card.