Golf: Ballesteros is reprieved by referee

SEVE BALLESTEROS escaped disqualification from the Spanish Open yesterday after television replays showed him dropping his ball several yards closer to the hole than he should have done.

Ballesteros, in the worst slump of his career and without a win since the same event four years ago, lost a ball up a tree on the long 12th hole. He marched back to where he had played the shot from and played another ball, but it was brought to the attention of tournament officials that his shot was from a different place to the original. The chief referee John Paramor studied film of the incident. But no penalty was imposed, and Ballesteros's bogey six on the hole and one-over-par 73 stood.

"If a player cannot exactly identify the spot he played a stroke from he has to estimate," said Paramor. "Seve was probably five to seven yards closer to the hole, but over a shot of around 230 yards from the green we considered he had made a reasonable estimate. The place he dropped the ball did not change the shot he faced."

His fellow countryman Sergio Garcia, the newest professional on the European circuit, made a dream start in his first event as a pro when he achieved birdies at three of the first four holes to hold the lead briefly.

At the end of a hectic morning session, the 19-year-old debutant signed for a five-under-par 67 to sit two strokes off the early leaders, fellow Spaniards Ignacio Garrido and Juan Carlos Aguero, Swede Max Anglert and Britain's Anthony Wall, who all shot 65.

While it was a memorable morning for Garcia, the leading amateur at the US Masters two weeks ago, it proved less so for the Masters champion, Jose Maria Olazabal. Lack of proper preparation after endless rounds of interviews left Olazabal sadly short of form off the tee and on greens he found bumpy and unpredictable. The Spanish hero had to settle for a 72 to be seven off the lead.

His compatriot Garrido chipped in for an eagle on the last for his 65, while early co-leader Anglert ran in 11 single putts on his last 11 holes.

Wall then joined the leaders with an unblemished seven birdies. Aguero, 23, an invitee from Severiano Ballesteros's Pedrena club, made his first visit to a Spanish Open leaderboard with a blazing start of an eagle and four birdies.

SPANISH OPEN Early first round scores (GB or Ire unless stated): 65 M Anglert (Swe), I Garrido (Sp), JC Aguero (Sp), A Wall; 66 A Binaghi (It); 67 J Van de Velde (Fr), D Hospital (Sp), S Garcia (Sp), M Campbell (NZ), J Rivero (Sp); 68 P Affleck, R Drummond, S Webster, M McNulty (Zim), D Howell, P Baker, J Haeggman (Swe), A Cejka (Ger), JM Carriles (Sp), G Orr, J Payne, G Emerson, I Giner (Sp); 69 B Davis, T Gogele (Ger), E Romero (Arg), D Robertson, R Wessels (SA), P Haugsrud (Nor), J Coceres (Arg), C Rocca (It), P Eales, V Phillips; 70 B Lane, M Scarpa (It), J Mellor, S Henderson, G Ogilvy (Aus), R Albinana (Sp), A Cabrera (Arg), R Karlsson (Swe), P Fulke (Swe), N Faldo; 71 J Senden (Aus), MA Martin (Sp), A Coltart, C Hanell (Swe), P Mitchell, A Oldcorn, M Mouland, X Guzman (Sp), A Beal, R Winchester; 72 JM Olazabal (Sp), M Lanner (Swe), F Tarnaud (Fr), M Farry (Fr), D Gilford, R McFarlane, I Garbutt, R Chapman, M Gronberg (Swe), MA Jimenez (Sp); 73 J Bickerton, M Mackenzie, M Long (NZ), A McLardy (SA), J Moseley (Aus), H Nystrom (Swe), C Whitelaw (SA), D Edlund (Swe), S Grappasonni (It), J Berendt (Arg), G Owen, R Russell, M Tunnicliff, A Salto (It), G Turner (NZ), J Rozadilla (Sp), S Ballesteros (Sp); 74 C Rodiles (Sp), P Broadhurst, B Langer (Ger), R Gonzalez (Arg), F Cea (Sp), M Ballesteros (Sp), S Field, J Quiros (Sp), P Quirici (Swit), R Derksen (Neth), P Nyman (Swe), F Jacobson (Swe), S Allan (Aus), R Jacquelin (Fr), R Vera (Sp); 75 J Sota (Sp), A Garrido (Sp), P Linhart (Sp), D Cooper, F Lindgren (Swe); 76 J Remesy (Fr), M Pinero (Sp), E Darcy; 77 R Muntz (Neth), J Cestino (Sp); 78 M Florioli (It); 80 G Garrido (Sp); 81 M James.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power