Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Simon Dyson Disqualified After Touching Line of Putt

Six-times European Tour winner, Simon Dyson, was lying in joint second place after two rounds of the halfway stage at Lake Malaren Golf Club, Shanghai, when he was disqualified for signing for a wrong score. Once again, it was a case of a professional tour player unnecessarily breaching a Rule when he should have known better. As can be seen in this short YouTube video clip, he pressed down on his line of putt with his ball after marking its position;

Note: If you are receiving this blog by email you can view the video at this link.

Dyson incurred a penalty of two strokes for a breach of Rule 16-1a, which states that the line of putt must not be touched, with seven exceptions listed (see this blog of mine for details), none of which applied to this situation. However, as he had returned his score card before the breach came to light, there was no option but to disqualify him for signing for a wrong score, because it did not include the penalty incurred, which he readily accepted.

Subsequently, European chief referee, John Paramor, issued this statement on the incident;

"Simon Dyson has been disqualified from the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group under the rules of golf (6-6d). Simon was found to have breached rule 16-1a, which states that a player must not touch his line of putt.
Television viewers alerted the European Tour to the incident, which took place on the eighth green during the second round, and when the footage was reviewed Simon was seen to touch the line of his second putt after marking and lifting his ball on the green. He subsequently failed to add a two-shot penalty to his score when signing his card, and as a result has now been disqualified."
Later, Dyson was reported to say that he could not explain why or how he came to do what he did and had no recollection of doing it, until he was shown the video. As often seems to be the case in these matters, his disqualification could cost him dearly. He started the tournament in 66th place on the Race to Dubai, with 60 eligible for the final event. Missing out on what could possibly have been a top-ten finish will have made it considerably more difficult for him to book a place in the finale.
(Edit 6th December 2013: Yesterday, the European Tour Disciplinary Panel's decision was 
a) to impose upon Mr Dyson a period of suspension from the Tour of two months, but to suspend its operation for a period of 18 months.  The effect of this is that, if during that 18 month period, Mr Dyson commits any breach of the Rules of Golf, his case will be referred back to the Panel to determine whether in the circumstances the suspension should immediately become effective.  If, however, at the end of that period, he has committed no such breach, then the threat of a suspension will fall away;
(b) to fine Mr Dyson the sum of £30,000;
(c) to order Mr Dyson to pay the sum of £7,500 towards the Tour’s costs of these proceedings;
(d) Mr Dyson is to make such payments within 56 days.
In my opinion, this was a harsh penalty, especially as the panel found that "it was a momentary aberration on his part, not a premeditated act of cheating".

Good golfing,


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John said...

You can see from a spike mark just in front of his ball as it is stopping. You can guarantee he knew what he was doing.

Anonymous said...

Please explain why this disqualification as opposed to Tiger's transgressions and only 2 strokes penalties.
Another John

Barry Rhodes said...


I recommend that you read my blog, dated Sunday, 14th April 2013 (including the comments and replies that followed) on the Tiger 'Dropgate' Rules issue. That should show you why Tiger was not disqualified. There were no such extenuating circumstances that the Committee could apply to the Simon Dyson disqualification.