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North Yorkshire golfer Simon Dyson avoids European Tour ban
SIMON DYSON was today a relieved man after being able to continue playing golf on the European Tour.
Dyson appeared before an independent three-man disciplinary panel into an alleged “serious breach of regulations” following his disqualification from the BMW Masters in China in October.
The panel, sitting at the European Tour’s headquarters in Wentworth yesterday, upheld the charge of breaching the regulations, but added it was a “momentary aberration on his part, not a premeditated act of cheating”.
The panel banned Dyson for two months, a ban suspended for the next 18 months, and fined him £30,000. He was also asked to pay £7,500 towards the European Tour’s legal costs.
But the report also declared that “there was no history of misconduct on the part of Dyson in his 14 years on the Tour”.
The 35-year-old York-born ace told The Press he was satisfied at the outcome of the panel, whose hearing lasted more than five hours before the final decision was reached.
Said Dyson: “It’s a shame that it had to come to this, but I am very satisfied with the result.
“The panel have said I am not a cheat and I am very pleased about that. I can just get on with playing golf now, which is all I want to do.”
The panel was convened after an incident on the eighth hole of the second round of the BMW Masters in Shanghai, where Dyson was seen by a television viewer to have allegedly repaired a spike mark with his ball. He had not signed for a two-shot penalty on his card and was subsequently disqualified.
He fully accepted the disqualification, adding in a later statement from his management company that it had been “an accidental mistake”, saying how he had “never deliberately broken the rules either on this occasion or in the past”.
Dyson revealed to The Press that the five weeks since his untimely exit from the BMW Masters tournament had been “horrible”.
The disciplinary panel had the power to impose a wide range of punishments from mere censure to a lengthy suspension from the European Tour, and there were rumours going around the sport he could indeed be hit by a three-month ban.
Said a relieved Dyson, who marked the second event of the 2014 European Tour tied for third place in the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa last week: “It has been a horrible five weeks. But I could not have played as well as I did last week in South Africa if I had not had a guilt-free conscience.
“All I wanted to do is to keep on playing golf and I hope that when I return to playing after the holiday period I can start the 2014 year as well as I have finished the end of this year on the 2014 tour.”
The panel, which was chaired by Ian Mill QC, issued a statement which said: “The panel decided....to impose upon Mr Dyson a period of suspension from the Tour of two months, but to suspend its operation for a period of 18 months.
“The effect of this is that, if during that 18-month period, Mr Dyson commits any breach of the Rules of Golf, his case will be referred back to the panel to determine whether in the circumstances the suspension should immediately become effective.”
The panel, which was made up of former European Tour player Gordon Brand Jnr and football’s League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan, found that Dyson deliberately pressed down the spike mark despite knowing it was against the rules.
According to the panel, the “extreme seriousness” of such an offence “in the appropriate case” would warrant an immediate suspension, but Dyson’s previous good conduct and the fact that it was a “momentary aberration on his part, not a premeditated act of cheating” was taken into consideration.
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