England’s Robert Rock, the player who lost a play-off to local amateur Shane Lowry last year, opened the 3 Irish Open with a six under par 65 at Killarney today – and then was disqualified for signing for a wrong score.
Rock, seventh in The Open two weeks ago, did not spot that his card had him down for a par on the 14th and birdie at the next instead of the other way around.
Hoping to win the €500,000 first prize for a second successive time – Lowry was unable to claim the money – the 33-year-old said: “It’s my fault.
“I checked it, but didn’t see it and it’s my job to do that.
“I don’t think I’ve been disqualified for anything before. I’d have preferred it to be after an 80!”
Rock was joint clubhouse leader when he finished, although minutes later compatriot David Howell took over at the top of the leaderboard with a seven under 64.
Amazingly last year’s first round leader Francesco Molinari was also then disqualified for signing for a wrong score.
“What else can you do?” added Rock. “I’ve gone through the same process I always do and I’ve done a lot over eight years, but this time I just missed it.
“I didn’t have a clue until it was pointed out to me that the scores were different.”
With massive understatement he also said: “It’s disappointing, I must admit.”
Rock had been only one under at the turn, but then birdied the 10th, 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th for an inward 31.