By Chris Dufresne
3:35 PM PST, February 13, 2013
One of the best stories of this week's Northern Trust Open is the saga of Blayne Barber, a rookie from Auburn.
Barber made news last fall when he disqualified himself from the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying school. Barber was haunted after the first stage when he realized a one-stroke penalty he called on himself should have been a two-stroke penalty.
He finished the first stage but then, nine days later, called the DQ on himself and forfeited the chance to make this year’s PGA Tour.
How is Barber playing leading up to the tournament at Riviera Country Club?
He slugged it out during local qualifying for one of four spots in this week’s 144-player field.
Barber, 23, had to shoot 66 last week at a pre-qualifier at Morongo Country Club just to advance to Monday’s qualifier at Industry Hills. Barber shot 65 there and will make his PGA debut at the Northern Trust.
“I had a few PGA Tour players text me and say that they really respected what I did and were glad I upheld the integrity of the game and things like that,” Barber said. “The support was really overwhelming.”
Barber has a 1:25 p.m. tee time Thursday and will be paired with Steve LeBrun and D.H. Lee.
Barber is no stranger to Riviera. He finished in a tie for seventh place in the NCAA championships held here last spring.
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