Sources: European Tour unlikely to expel Dyson
Simon Dyson is unlikely to be expelled or banned from the European Tour over his disqualification from the BMW Masters, sources have told Golfweek.
Dyson was disqualified after tapping down a spike mark during the second round in Shanghai after TV viewers called the European Tour. The Englishman was found to be in breach of Rule 16-1a ("Touching Line of Putt"), which carries a two-shot penalty. Because he already had signed his card, the tour had no option but to disqualify him because of an incorrect score (Rule 6-6d: "Wrong Score for Hole").
Dyson is set to face a disciplinary hearing to decide whether any further action might be taken.
“If, following the hearing, the panel decides that a breach of the code (of behavior) has been established, it shall impose a sanction that it considers appropriate having regard to the circumstances,” the tour said in a statement.
“Such sanctions may range from a reprimand, a censure, a fine, a suspension of membership, a suspension from participation in one or more tournaments or for a given period, or expulsion from the European Tour, or otherwise as the panel shall determine.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources told Golfweek that Dyson is unlikely to face any further penalty.
“Simon has no previous record of anything like this,” one English European Tour player said. “I’ve never heard any rumors about anything dodgy in his past. He’s a good lad. We all know you can’t tap down spike marks. All I can think is that he’s just made a mental error at the time.”
A former member of the European Tour’s tournament committee said there was no way the tour could ban Dyson.
“They’d have to prove there was intent, and I don’t know how they can do that,” the source said. “They’d have to prove that he’d deliberately tried to gain an advantage, and there is no way they can prove that if the player has admitted he made a mistake. So I don’t see any further sanction being applied to him.”
Dyson, 35, has released a statement in which he professed his innocence.
“I have never deliberately broken the rules either on this occasion or in the past,” he said. “It was only after I was shown the replay of my action after marking the ball on the eighth green during the second round that I realized what I had done and that I was in breach. I immediately accepted that I should be disqualified.
“My action was in no way a deliberate act with the intention of breaking the rules. It was simply an accidental mistake.”
No date or venue has been set for Dyson to go before the tour, but the European Tour confirmed that the disciplinary hearing must take place within 21 days of Dyson being informed of the issue. He will face a three-man panel consisting of an ex-European Tour player, a lawyer and a sports administrator.