Simon Dyson given suspended two-month ban

English golfer also fined over €40k for pressing down on a spike mark after marking his ball

Simon Dyson of England was spared an immediate ban because of his previous good conduct on tour. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Simon Dyson of England was spared an immediate ban because of his previous good conduct on tour. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Thu, Dec 5, 2013, 19:05

Simon Dyson has been given a two-month ban from the European Tour, suspended for 18 months, following his disqualification from the BMW Masters in October.

Dyson was joint second after 36 holes at Lake Malaren when he was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score in the second round. The 35-year-old Englishman 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, appearing to flatten a spike mark.

Having reviewed the incident, European Tour officials charged Dyson with a “serious breach” of the Tour’s code of behaviour, a charge which was upheld when Dyson appeared before a three-person disciplinary panel, chaired by Ian Mill QC, at Wentworth on Thursday.

In a statement, the European Tour announced: “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 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.

Dyson was therefore given the suspended ban, with any breach of the Rules of Golf in the 18-month period seeing his case referred back to the panel to determine whether the suspension should immediately become effective. He was also fined €36,000 and ordered to pay €8,500 towards the Tour’s costs, with the money to be paid within 56 days.

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