x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Rules and sanctions take attention off course

Sometimes, the thumping backbeat overwhelms the soloists. That has certainly been the case during an increasingly disappointing 2013, which should be subtitled the “Symphony of Censure”.

There was no place for Simon Dyson to hide after a television viewer called in a violation of the rules book when Dyson tamped down a spike mark in his  putting line during play in the BMW Masters at Shanghai.  Eugene Hoshiko / AP Photo
There was no place for Simon Dyson to hide after a television viewer called in a violation of the rules book when Dyson tamped down a spike mark in his putting line during play in the BMW Masters at Shanghai. Eugene Hoshiko / AP Photo

Sometimes, the thumping backbeat overwhelms the soloists.

That has certainly been the case during an increasingly disappointing 2013, which should be subtitled the “Symphony of Censure”.

This time, the stream of violations has become downright ugly.

After a season in which Tiger Woods generated more conversation over his four rules entanglements than he did for his five victories, when momentum in the Solheim Cup was changed by the incorrect ruling of an official, when nary a month passed without a rules-related issue of note, the European Tour has dived into the orchestra pit.

Last week at the BMW Masters in China, England’s Simon Dyson was disqualified after improperly tamping down a spike mark in his putting line, an act that was flagged yet again by a television viewer.

Unwitting rules violations are one thing. Cheating is quite another. Add it all up, however, and the string of sanctions has caused a season-long, throbbing headache for a sport that trumpets its integrity and honesty above all else. Dyson, a six-time tour winner, faces a possible committee hearing and suspension for his intentional act, reports say.

For the past two weeks, a provocative article written by a Golf Channel analyst that characterised Woods as a cheater has been the game’s biggest talking point.

Woods and his agent intimated this week that they want the offending analyst sanctioned, too.

What’s one more penalty, right?

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