GREENSBORO, N.C. — Charles Howell III was disqualified from the Wyndham Championship on Saturday, one day after the weight port cover on his driver came off before his second round.
The PGA Tour announced his disqualification for using a non-conforming driver before the start of Howell's third round.
Howell shot a 68 on Friday to move to 6 under, five strokes behind leader Patrick Reed.
PGA Tour rules official Tony Wallin said another official told him about Howell's driver early Saturday morning.
He said the weight port cover came off Howell's TaylorMade driver while he was on the driving range before his second round. Howell said in a statement that the company assured him that the lack of a cover would not affect the club's performance.
"The idea that the club would no longer be conforming, because of the missing toe-cap, never entered my mind," Howell said.
Had the cover come off during the round, Wallin said Howell would have been OK to play with it as long as he fixed it before his next round.
Howell said the club – which he called "the best performing driver I've ever played" – will be back in play next week at The Barclays.