Simon Dyson needed some time to prepare for an upcoming three-person European Tour tribunal, so he withdrew from next week's Turkish Airlines Open.
Well, Dyson is ranked 68th in the Race to Dubai standings after being disqualified from the BMW Masters a week ago for tamping down a ball mark the line of his putt with a golf ball. A viewer called in to report the violation. European Tour officials agreed with the fan's assessment, told Dyson he should have docked himself two strokes and was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score.
The violation of such a fundamental rule -- one every semi-serious golfer should know, much less a professional -- triggered the European Tour to announce it would convene a three-person panel to look further into the incident sometime in November and determine if further sanctions are necessary. That could range from nothing to a fine to a suspension to expulsion from the European Tour.
A couple of reports suggest varying degrees of evidence against Dyson as to whether or not the Englishman has a prior track record of shady dealings with the Rules of Golf. One says there are whispers of prior transgressions, while the other says Dyson has a clean past and should have no fear of additional reprisal.
But it seems like Dyson has pulled out of the Turkish Airlines Open in an effort to give the appearance of falling on his own sword, so to speak.
European Tour regulations require a player to compete in at least two of three events in the Final Series before the top 60 in the Race to Dubai standings compete in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Dyson didn't qualify for the WGC-HSBC Champions, the second leg of the Finals, and was disqualified from the BMW Masters, but did play. So, the Turkish Airlines Open would offer him a chance to creep into the top 60...and be a controversial figure amid the European Tour's season-ending celebration and crowning of a season-long champion.
In doing that, Dyson might incur the wrath of the tribunal he faces, so he has made the calculated move to end his season early -- kind of how American universities tend to punish themselves when they violate NCAA regulations so as to soften any blow from the collegiate athletic body later.
Dyson's move should work. Barring the unearthing of some sinister Simon-authored plot, Dyson will probably get a slap on the wrist with enough time to let it heal heading into the 2014 season.