Time trials for angry Ballesteros: Harsh words for sluggish Spaniard

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The Independent Online
MARK McNULTY, the 40-year-old from Zimbabwe, won the BMW International Open with a final round of 65 for a 14-under-par aggregate of 274 - but it was Seve Ballesteros who stole the show. The Spaniard finished in second place, one shot behind McNulty, after scoring 66 and being timed for slow play by the referee for the second time in the tournament.

He was clearly incensed and said: 'I feel someone is trying to drive me off the Tour. I do not think they give me the respect I deserve. I may decide to play more in the United States next year. They do not know how to handle the situation and I'm very disappointed. There are a lot of things more important they should take care of. I may be forced to speak up and say a lot of things but now is not the time. I came here to play golf, not to argue the whole week with the referee. I have never been called a slow player in my career.'

Ballesteros did lose time in an unexpected way. He carved his drive to the right at the 16th and hit a lady spectator in the chest. He then took four minutes making sure the woman was not too badly hurt before she was taken to hospital.

After the Ballesteros onslaught, Mike Stewart, the tournament director, said: 'Seve had three time breaches, at the 14th, 17th and 18th after we began to time him at the 13th, but he has not been fined. After taking everything into account, I decided a fine was not warranted but I had a 10 minute chat with him to discuss the situation. He may feel he should be treated differently but we treat the players all the same.'

McNulty, however, was unconcerned. He had won 12 times previously on the European Tour and yesterday, he said, was 'lucky 13' as he carried off a first prize of pounds 87,500. He had begun the day five shots behind the overnight leader, Darren Clarke, and his victory was almost entirely due to his brilliant start of an eagle and three birdies in his first four holes.

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