Ballesteros stands by objections

Seve Ballesteros appears to be sticking to his view that he was made a special target when he was disqualified from the Italian Open two weeks ago.

Seve Ballesteros appears to be sticking to his view that he was made a special target when he was disqualified from the Italian Open two weeks ago.

Although Ballesteros has admitted saying “some things I should not have”, his latest interview has him still speaking out about the lead-up to his disqualification.

Given a one-stroke penalty for slow play, the Spaniard refused to accept it and changed his scorecard.

The tour’s chief referee John Paramor said: “I gave Seve an opportunity to undo what he did, but when he didn’t I had no alternative but to disqualify him for signing for a wrong score.”

The players’ committee have asked Ballesteros to meet them at Wentworth this Wednesday about the matter amid calls for him to be heavily fined.

They may not find him prepared to say sorry.

Interviewed in Spain last week for today’s Sunday Telegraph he said: “I said I would not accept the penalty shot because I felt I was abused by the authority of the referee.

“It was very obvious. I have dignity and I thought he was after me all the way. I could have taken the penalty shot, kept quiet, smiled, but I don’t think that is the way someone with dignity is supposed to be.

“As a consequence of what happened I said some things I should not have and I went on the BBC at the Benson & Hedges International and excused myself.

“Looking back, maybe I should just say ‘okay John, what’s the penalty? One shot, two shots?’ And just sign for whatever and go home, but that’s not my character, not my way. I cannot be like a schoolboy. I did upset the rules because I was disqualified.

“I just said it was totally wrong and I can explain what happened all the way from the second hole to the 18th.

“It was persecution. It was very clear that the referee was going to penalise me. I have been thinking about it for many, many hours and the more I see the situation the more I realise that he was going to penalise me one way or the other.”

Ballesteros then detailed the sequence of events that led to Paramor telling him on the 16th fairway he had incurred the penalty.

“When I came down the fairway he said, ‘Seve, you have another bad time’. I said ‘John, this is like a war. Here we go, okay. You want me to run’. So I started running in the middle of the fairway.

“To me it was very clear that his intention from the very beginning was to penalise me. Maybe he was told to find respect for referees because of what I said in Madeira when I said I was ‘up to here’ with referees.

“It was as if he was saying ‘Right, I am going to show who we are here’.

“He told my partner that I was penalised one shot and he walked all the way into the scorer’s tent to make sure I was penalised. That is why I was very angry because it was totally out of order and totally unfair.

“I said, ‘I am not going to take the penalty and now I am disqualified’. That is the true story.”

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