Golf: Spence's bad luck

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The Independent Online
JAMIE SPENCE was disqualified from the Rome Masters yesterday, four hours after earning a share of the tournament lead. The 29-year-old Englishman was penalised after a spectator saw him taking an incorrect drop.

Spence, who had to return to the course hours after posting his third-round 72 to share the lead with the Frenchman, Jean Van De Velde, was in tears afterwards.

The incident came to light when a spectator reported Spence for dropping his ball in the wrong place after he had driven on to a walkway at the par five 15th hole. He should have taken the nearest point of relief but failed to do so, and tournament director Andy Stubbs contacted the player at his hotel. Spence was taken out to the 15th for a reconstruction.

'Jamie lifted the ball from the crossing as he was entitled to do but played his next shot from the wrong place,' Stubbs explained. 'That incurred a two-shot penalty but as he had already signed for a lower score there was no alternative but to disqualify him.'

Scores, Sport In Short, page 26

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