England’s Simon Dyson had “no recollection” of breaking the rule which led to his disqualification from the BMW Masters in Shanghai, according to tournament officials.
Dyson was one of six players sharing second place at the halfway stage at Lake Malaren but was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score in the second round.
The 35-year-old, six times a winner on the European Tour, failed to add a two-shot penalty to his card after an incident on the eighth hole, when he touched the line of his putt after marking his ball.
European chief referee John Paramor said in a statement: “Simon Dyson has been disqualified from the BMW Masters presented by SRE Group under the rules of golf (6-6d). Simon was found to have breached rule 16-1a, which states that a player must not touch his line of putt.
“Television viewers alerted the European Tour to the incident, which took place on the eighth green during the second round, and when the footage was reviewed Simon was seen to touch the line of his second putt after marking and lifting his ball on the green.
“He subsequently failed to add a two-shot penalty to his score when signing his card, and as a result has now been disqualified.”
Paramor added on www.europeantour.com: “We reviewed the footage with Simon today and there was no other option but to advise him that he was in breach of rule 16 1-a and that does lead to disqualification because he signed for a wrong score yesterday.
“He was bitterly disappointed, he had no way of explaining why or how he came to do what he did; he had no recollection of it until I showed him and even then he said ’I can’t even remember doing it.’ It’s a very sad thing and unfortunately his event is over.”
Dyson’s disqualification dealt a huge blow to his chances of making the lucrative Race to Dubai finale.
Only the top 60 on the European Tour money list are eligible for the final event, with Dyson currently ranked 66th. He will now need a good performance in either the WGC-HSBC Champions or Turkish Airlines Open to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Dyson is the latest player to have a rules infraction spotted by television viewers, the most famous this year being Tiger Woods taking an incorrect drop during the second round of the Masters.
Woods escaped disqualification on that occasion because rules officials said they had examined his drop on the 15th hole and ruled he had done nothing wrong, but did not speak to Woods before he signed his card.
Out on the course, overnight leader Luke Guthrie was three shots clear of the field with four holes remaining, the American carding four birdies and two bogeys to reach 10 under par.
Spanish duo Gonzalez Fernandez-Castano and Rafael Cabrera-Bello were his nearest challengers with two to play, with France’s Gregory Bourdy and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson another stroke back.