Simon Dyson will definitely know next time not to tamp down a spike mark in his putting line again.
The European Tour on Thursday announced its sanctions against Dyson for an incident at the BMW Masters in October. Dyson has been given 18 months of probation for the incident, indicating he would be suspended for 2 months for any violation during that year-and-a-half period. Dyson was also fined approximately $45,000 by the Tour.
In the second round, Dyson tamped down a spike mark in his line on the eighth green, violating Rule 16-1a of the Rules of Golf. Dyson did not penalize himself, nor did his playing partners realize the violation. A TV viewer called the European Tour to alert them to the violation, leading to Dyson’s disqualification after the review.
The Tour then decided Dyson’s violation was egregious enough to merit having the Englishman appear before a three-person panel to discuss the incident. Dyson could have faced a penalty as steep as expulsion from the European Tour. As an act of contrition, Dyson withdrew from the Turkish Airlines Open, the second event of three in the European Tour Final Series, costing him an opportunity to qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The European Tour decided Dyson did not commit the violation by accident, doing so with an awareness of Rule 16-1a, but that he did not do so with malicious intent, aiming to cheat.
In other words, it was a brainfart for a player who has otherwise had a clear record in 14 years on Tour.