PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Doug Barron, a 40-year-old journeyman who lost his tour card three years ago, became the first player to be suspended by the PGA Tour for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
The American was immediately suspended for one year, the PGA Tour said Monday. He played eight full seasons on the tour, with his best finish a tie for third at the Byron Nelson Championship in 2006.
"I would like to apologize for any negative perception of the tour of its players resulting from my suspension," Barron said in a statement released by the tour. "I want my fellow tour members and the fans to know that I did not intend to gain an unfair competitive advantage or enhance my performance while on tour."
The tour announced the suspension about two hours before the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The tour said it would have no further comment, and Barron's agent did not immediately return a call.
Under its doping policy, the tour announces a suspension but does not disclose what substance a player used. The tour did not start random testing until July 2008, which includes its second-tier Nationwide Tour.
Barron played a full Nationwide schedule last year, making only five cuts in 17 starts to earn $33,446. He played four times on the Nationwide Tour this year, and his lone PGA Tour start came at the St. Jude Classic, where he missed the cut.
The last time Barron made news was in 2006 at what is now the Transitions Championship outside Tampa, Florida, where he removed his shirt to play a shot out of the water on the 16th hole at Innisbrook. He exposed an ample belly on television, drawing jokes from players.
Barron's most recent tournament was in September at the Mexico Open, co-sanctioned by the Nationwide Tour, where he missed the cut.