England's Simon Dyson became the latest player to suffer trial by television – and Facebook – and subsequently found himself disqualified from the BMW Masters in China before the third round got under way yesterday.
Dyson had been seen by viewers marking his ball on the eighth green and then seemingly tapping down a spike mark during the second round at Lake Malaren on Friday. The evidence was ultimately conclusive and officials had no choice but to disqualify him.
It came as a bitter blow to the Englishman, 36, who was lying joint second behind Luke Guthrie, of the United States, after 36 holes and looking to kick on over the weekend.
Asked to review the tape by John Paramor, the European Tour's chief referee, Dyson explained that he had no recollection of touching the green but could see that he had.
As a result, he understood the decision to disqualify him under rule 16-1a, which states that a player must not touch the line of his putt. "He subsequently failed to add a two-shot penalty to his score when signing his card and as a result has been disqualified," said Paramor.
The previous day, Dyson had spoken at length about how he had started to turn his game around after a time in the doldrums. Now, though, he has a battle on his hands to have any chance of playing in the tour's grand finale next month, the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. It was a costly mistake and one he did not wish to discuss.
Dyson, lying 66th in the standings for the Race to Dubai, needs to get into the top 60 to claim his place in the field for the Middle East event.
He is not playing in the HSBC Champions tournament, also in Shanghai, starting on Thursday and so will have just one event left – the Turkish Open – to make up lost ground. While one Englishman was left rueing a lapse in concentration, another was relishing a welcome return to form.
Slowly, Paul Casey has started to rebuild his game after two years in which he has struggled with injury – he broke a collarbone in a snowboarding accident – and found his personal life turned upside down while in the throes of divorce.
The former world No 3 subsequently lost his playing privileges on the US PGA Tour and is now concentrating on getting his game back together in Europe.
He won for the first time in two years at the Irish Open in June and looks to have brought that kind of form with him to the Far East.
Casey, who has fallen to No 107 in the world, had a third round of 71 to move to five under par and within three strokes of Guthrie, who maintained his place at the top of the leaderboard after a round of 72 that was spoilt by a bogey at the last. For Casey, though, the good times look to be just around the corner again.
He has his eyes set on getting back inside the world's top 50 and knows that good results over the next four weeks – in Shanghai, Turkey and Dubai – would get him there in one big leap.
"Top 50 and everything changes," he said. "Then I can play in the Masters and start thinking about the majors and the WGCs [World Golf Championships]. The signs are really encouraging."
With a double bogey at the last, Rory McIlroy fell six strokes off the pace and looked to have waved goodbye to any chance of victory.
The same could be said of Ian Poulter, who got to five under par after 15 holes, only to drop four shots in his last three holes. Lee Westwood, five strokes behind going into the final round, also looked to be out of the running.Reuse content