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Dyson’s rules blunder proves costly as he awaits hearing

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Simon Dyson isn’t having a very good week. After disqualification from the BMW Masters for signing an incorrect scorecard—the result of failing to assess himself a penalty for violating rule 16-1a when he tapped down a mark in his putting line—the golfer will have to deal with further ramifications of the incident.

According to a report in The Telegraph, the European Tour has “collected evidence” that Dyson has violated tour rules on other occasions this season. Given this, the tour has scheduled a hearing in front of a three-person panel. The panel—consisting of a lawyer, a former player, and a rules administrator—will decide what punishment to dole out, and anything from a reprimand to permanent suspension is theoretically on the table.

As a result of this news, the 35-year-old Englishman has withdrawn from next week’s Turkish Open while he waits for his hearing. Although a date hasn’t been set for the proceedings, the hearing must take place within 21 days of a player being informed of his offense.

The blunder has already been very costly for the six-time European Tour winner. Dyson had a legitimate shot at winning the BMW Masters, as he was in second place at the time of the disqualification. Eventual winner Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano earned € 851,346 for the victory, and the second-place prize was half that amount.

Further, Dyson also will now also miss out on the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, which is limited to those in the top 60 on the season money list. The Englishman presently sits at 68th on that list and doesn’t look like he’ll have a chance to add to the € 417,332 he’s won this year.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Harvey

    Nov 5, 2013 at 3:56 am

    They need to get away from armchair rulings.. Once the card is signed by both the marker player and is accepted by the official it should be set in stone, it’s not fair that tiger can get his revoked while other players suffer. As far as I can see they both consciously did something wrong, what’s the difference??

  2. Dan

    Nov 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    If you watch the video, he clearly sneaks in and taps the mark down with his ball in a manner so no one would notice. It’s known to every pro you can’t touch a spike mark. Pretty sneaky move there.
    I think the rule should be changed, this is a silly rule, but he clearly cheated. Hopefully they let him off easy. It’s bad enough to be known as a cheater…

  3. AJ

    Nov 4, 2013 at 6:44 am

    I have always wondered why pros aren’t allowed to tap down obvious spike marks for two reasons:

    1) Theoretically you could deliberately leave spike marks around a hole for the group playing behind you; and

    2) The playing (or local) rules on various tours allow so many conveniences (such as blazing it 80 yards off line and going to a DZ) that I would have thought obvious imperfections in the putting surface would be able to be ‘repaired’.

    If Dyson has been found to have broken other rules this season, then as somebody else has pointed out, it’s a bit late to call him on those now.

    This all seems well over the top for something as innocuous as tapping a spike mark – there must be something else behind it, which leads me to suggest he has a certain ‘reputation’ among his fellow professionals.

    • rB

      Nov 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      AJ,
      While I agree with your points, the real violations here were against
      the “Spirit of the Game” committed by Mr. Dyson and anyone
      purposely dragging their feet on any golf course !

  4. Kevin

    Nov 4, 2013 at 4:17 am

    The Tour say they have collective evidence of past infringements ! surely if a player infringes rules they should be told straight away should they not.

    How’d they prove this? but shot tracker on the putt and see if the ball goes over the tamped down spike mark

    I don’t agree with it taking 21 days either

  5. paul

    Nov 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    I would prefer to see the score card corrected and a 2 stroke penalty added for the incorrect score card.

  6. gdog

    Nov 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    This is absurd….tapping down a spike mark…give it a rest…here’s an observation…most people who talk about the rules all day, cant play the game…

    • a golfer

      Nov 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      This makes me laugh at the people who were so ready to say that the rules tiger broke were only noticed because “hes the only one under the microscope”

  7. Pablo

    Nov 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    The fact that this is a huge story and possibly an immensely costly violation for Dyson just tells me how idiotic the obsession of rules is in the world of golf. This wreaks of elitism in the sport and goes against every other major sports’ treatment of implementing rules – besides major violations such as drugs, most sports would not treat minor rules violations with such intense scrutiny. This will be the downfall of golf’s widespread popularity if something is not done to differentiate between minor violations and punishable cheating.

    • Xreb

      Nov 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      Agreed !

    • Jon

      Nov 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      I agree

    • Jack

      Nov 4, 2013 at 3:08 am

      I mean, this would be a total joke in any other sport. Can you imagine if Kobe fouled Lebron, and the NBA says, “Hey Kobe, remember that foul that you committed on Lebron? Yeah you didn’t admit to the refs that you did it, and didn’t take two points off your team’s total. Not only do you lose that game, you are banned from the NBA. Good luck with your future.” Seriously. I mean maybe he’s no Kobe, but he has won 6 times on the Euro PGA tour. That’s a darn good player. You’re costing a man’s livelihood because he tamped down a spike mark. Well guess what Mr. Dyson, you’re welcome to come play in the US PGA. Just try not to tamp down any spike marks.

      Why are there still any spikes allowed? I thought some shoes have gone to spikeless now (and I’ve tried them, works great).

      • c

        Nov 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm

        golf is not played in a 94 by 50 court where you can see whats happening. Its played over 150 acres where you can cheat up a storm if you wanted to.

    • Sean

      Nov 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Not that I’m necessarily supporting what Dyson is going through but something important to consider is the lack of official referees in golf which makes it difficult to compare to other sports. It’s known as the “gentleman’s game” partly because it is supposed to be self-policed. It is by its nature a very trusting environment until the trust is broken once, and then it can become very critical. If you can’t be trusted to admit a mistake (or to not cheat) and no one is around to monitor your play, should you be allowed to compete?

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