Walton laments comedy of errors

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The Independent Online
RAIN here is not usually on the agenda, and while for the golfers in the Dimension Data Pro-am it was a welcome relief from the excessive heat, it would have put a dampener on the afternoon for the weekend holidaymakers at the resort's artificial beach.

That Philip Walton was among them at the Valley of the Waves was not his choice. The Irish Ryder Cup hero became the tournament's fifth disqualification yesterday morning for an incident at the fourth hole of the Lost City course on Friday. In a confused sequence of events, Walton and one of the amateurs in his group apparently hit the wrong balls during play on the par-five hole.

The case centred on the evidence of the two amateurs, who were convinced that Walton's second shot had finished in a greenside bunker. But when he played out, he found it was not his ball. Reluctantly returning to replay the hole, the Irishman then played from where he had originally played his second, in the fairway, rather than the rough where the amateur played from.

Walton's mistake only came to light when his caddie was discussing the incident with colleagues over dinner. As he had not included a second two-shot penalty on his card, the Dubliner was disqualified for signing for a wrong score.

Walton's disappointment was matched by two Welshmen. Ian Woosnam, who teed off at 6.52am, shot a two-over 74 to ruin his chances of a hat-trick of titles. Phillip Price, the leading European after two rounds in fourth place, went down with food poisoning overnight and was confined to bed on doctor's orders.

Nor did the leaders fare much better. Mark McNulty, who has faltered while in contention in the last two weeks in South Africa, shot a 73 to see his four-shot overnight lead cut to one over Brenden Pappas, while Nick Price also went backwards with a 74.

Pappas, one of four golfing brothers, equalled Nick Faldo's course record of 64, and set a new mark for nine holes when he played the front side (having teed off at the 10th) in 28. It included only nine putts and a hole in one at the short seventh, where his 4-iron shot pitched four feet short and rolled into the hole. England's Gary Evans twice holed out from bunkers in a 69 that put him in joint third place.

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