Sunday 4 December 2016

Major break of the rules

Published 17/08/2010 | 05:00

DUSTIN JOHNSON certainly isn't the first player to have his chances of a Major title dashed by a rules infringement.

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Several players have tripped over the rule-book in golf's greatest arenas.

Among the most famous cases is that of Roberto de Vicenzo at the 1968 Masters. He made a birdie three on 17 at Augusta, but playing partner Tommy Aaron, a maths major at college, no less, marked a four on the card and de Vicenzo signed it. The higher score stood and, instead of facing Bob Goalby in a play-off, the Argentine finished second.

2001: TOO MANY

CLUBS

Ian Woosnam had the wind knocked out of his sails on the final day of the 2001 British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes when Irish caddie Myles Byrne revealed he'd an extra club in his bag.

"You're going to go ballistic," Byrne told Woosnam after discovering two drivers in the Welshman's bag on the second tee.

He was right. For carrying 15 clubs, overnight leader Woosnam was penalised two strokes and didn't recover from the blow, David Duval going on to capture the Claret Jug.

Woosnam and Byrne, who'd won the Irish Open three weeks earlier, would part company when the Irishman turned up late in Sweden the following month.

2003: FAILING TO

SWAP CARDS

Mark Roe and Jesper Parnevik were disqualified on Saturday at the 2003 Open in Royal St Georges for failing to exchange scorecards at the first hole. After each had dutifully filled out the wrong one, they were disqualified for signing for the wrong scores at the finish.

"What can you do? I've just played one of the greatest rounds of my life and I can't play tomorrow," Roe exclaimed. He'd finished with a four-under 67 at Sandwich to lie three shots off the lead. Parnevik had an 81 to put him 15 over.

"I don't think it's fair," Parnevik said. "It's the dumbest rule I have ever heard of."

Ben Curtis emerged as a stunning winner of the Open that weekend but Thomas Bjorn, penalised two strokes for angrily grounding his club in a bunker at 17 in an earlier round, then surrendered the initiative as he took three to get out of a greenside trap at 16 on Sunday afternoon, leading to a double-bogey five.

Irish Independent

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