Ryder Cup trio are disqualified

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The Independent Online
Three Ryder Cup players, Sam Torrance, Steve Richardson and Gordon J Brand, were disqualified on the opening day of the Portuguese Open at Penha Longa, near Estoril, yesterday.

Torrance signed for a wrong score as did Brand, while Richardson missed his tee-off time after returning to his hotel following a suspension in play because of high winds.

"I was angry after dropping four shots in the last three holes," Torrance said. He signed for the 75 he had actually taken, but when looking at the main scoreboard later, he noticed that two of his hole scores were wrong.

The marker, Robert Karlsson, put him down for a five at the 10th when he took four and for a par-four on the 14th when he had a bogey. As it was a lower figure he had to be disqualified. "It's entirely my fault - it was stupid," the 41-year-old Scot said.

Brand's 84 was the worst score of the day, made even worse because a penalty at the final hole had not been added to his card.

Richardson did not even hit a shot in the event. He had still to tee off when play was halted by the gusts of up to 40mph, but did not realise that the action had been re-started three hours and 40 minutes later and did not make the first tee in time.

"You would have to say it was stupid and my own fault," the 28-year-old from Hampshire, winner of the event four years ago, said.

The hold-up, caused by balls moving on the exposed greens, meant that the first round could not be completed yesterday. Four players still out on the course shared the lead at two under par: the English pair, Howard Clark and Paul Way, the Italian Costantino Rocca and the South African Gavin Levenson. The clubhouse leader on 71, one under, was the Australia's Wayne Riley while Mark James, the winner of the Moroccan Open on Sunday, finished among those on 72.

Also in the group were Carl Mason and the Ulsterman Darren Clarke, who both bogeyed the last two holes. Jim Payne, from Lincolnshire, returning after eight months out with a back injury, struggled to an 81.

PORTUGUESE OPEN (Estoril) Leading first-round scores (round to be completed today; GB or Irl unless stated): 71 W Riley (Aus).72 P Hedblom (Swe), M James, C Mason, D Carter, R Boxall, J Van de Velde (Fr), D Clarke. 73 J Robinson, A Hunter. 74 E Darcy, D Cooper, M A Martin (Spain), J M Caizares (Sp). 75 P Lawrie, W Westner (SA), P Mitchell, J Hawkes (SA). 76 S Tinning (Den), A Sobrinho (Por), M Clayton (Aus), G Brand Jnr, R Karlsson (Swe), D Silva (Por), S Cage, R Lee, M McLean. 77 S Struver (Ger), A Binaghi (It), J Townsend (US), P Eales. Disqualified: S Richardson, S Torrance, G J Brand.

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